Target Hits the Spot as Profit Jumps, Easily Beats Street

Strong holiday sales and cost controls helped Target Corp. (TGT) post a 54% jump in fourth-quarter earnings, easily surpassing Wall Street's expectations. The nation's second biggest discount retailer after Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) announced results Tuesday.

For the three months ended Jan. 30, Minneapolis-based Target reported net income of $936 million, or $1.24 a share, up from $609 million, or 81 cents, in last year's fourth quarter. Analysts, on average, forecast earnings of $1.16 a share, according to Thomson Reuters.