Target's Earnings Quadruple

By Alan Wolf On Aug 23 2004 - 6:00am

Fueled by a one-time, $1 billion gain from the sale of its Marshall Field's department store chain, Target Corp.'s second-quarter earnings nearly quadrupled to $1.4 billion for the three months, ended July 31.

Excluding the sale of Marshall Field's to The May Department Store Co., earnings from continuing operations grew 11 percent to $366 million, which reflects a pre-tax loss of $74 million on the repurchase of debt at a premium.

Earnings before interest and income taxes grew 16.4 percent over the prior-year period to $795 million, and gross margin rate improved due to improvements in markup and markdown rates, the company said.

Driven by new store expansion, total revenue grew 10 percent to $10.6 billion, while same-store sales increased 3.9 percent.

"We are pleased with our strong second-quarter results at Target Stores, and confident that we will continue to enjoy profitable market share growth throughout the remainder of 2004 and well into the future," said corporate chairman/CEO Bob Ulrich.

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