Target just posted its strongest full-year sales growth in 13 years

  • Target said Tuesday that last year saw the highest comparable sales growth since 2005. 
  • Its quarterly revenue just topped analysts' expectations, and earnings fell in-line with estimates.
  • Watch Target trade in real-time.

Target jumped in early trading Tuesday after the company said last year saw the strongest full-year comparable sales growth since before the financial crisis.

The Minneapolis-based retailer's report was welcome news for those tracking the broader retail space, which is expected to endure more brick-and-mortar pain and transformation this year.

Here are Target's fourth-quarter earnings, compared with what analysts surveyed by Bloomberg were expecting:

  • Revenue: $22.98 billion versus $22.95 billion expected.  
  • Adjusted earnings per share (EPS): $1.53 versus $1.53 expected.

Its comparable sales grew at a rate of 5% last year, and by 5.3% in the fourth-quarter. Total revenue for the fourth-quarter totaled nearly $23 billion, down slightly from the same period a year earlier. 

Digital sales continue to be a fast-growing area for the retailer. Last year marked the fifth-straight year that Target reported comparable digital-sales growth of more than 25%. 

Additionally, the company said it bought back $617 million in shares in the fourth-quarter.

At the end of the year, Target said, it had approximately $1.6 billion remaining under its current $5 billion share repurchase program. 

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