Target releases its first quarter results ahead of the bell. Here’s what to expect

Customers at a Target store in New York City.

Scott Mlyn | CNBC

Target will report its first quarter tax results Wednesday before the bell.

Here’s what Wall Street expects, according to Refinitiv consensus estimates:

  • Earnings per share: $ 2.25
  • Revenue: $ 21.81 billion

The big box retailer has seen significant growth during the pandemic as shoppers have turned to its stores for everything from groceries and workout clothes to online parking lot orders. It reported many mind-boggling numbers during the year, including sales growth of over $ 15 billion, more than its total sales growth in the previous 11 years. Target’s comparable sales, a key metric that tracks sales in stores open at least 13 months and online, increased 19.3% from a year ago.

These results raised expectations and prepared the company for difficult year-to-year comparisons. However, the momentum really started in the second quarter of 2020.

This means Target will face more favorable comparisons in the first quarter. When lockdowns hit a year ago, target customers initially ignored many higher margin discretionary items like clothing and the retailer’s labor costs skyrocketed. The company struggled to adapt as consumers shopped online and bought more food and electronics when working from home.

Revenue reports from other retailers bode well for Target. Walmart, Home Depot and Macy’s beat Wall Street expectations for the first quarter. Companies attributed strong sales, in part, to customers having more money in their pockets thanks to stimulus checks, which they received in March. Walmart and Macy’s said customers also buy items like luggage and teeth whitening when they travel and go to parties again.

Target did not provide a forecast for the year, saying the pandemic has made it too difficult to forecast consumer spending.

As of Tuesday’s close, shares of Target have risen about 17% so far this year. Its shares closed at $ 206.43 on Tuesday, raising its market value to $ 102.71 billion.

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