News Brief

Target Reports Higher Sales, Lower Earnings

Target says its fourth-quarter sales gained 3.3% to $20.9 billion, compared with $20.28 billion in the same period a year ago, with same-store sales generating a 2.2% rise. Net earnings declined to $981 million, a 5.2% drop from last year’s $1.04 billion.

“Target generated strong financial performance in 2011, overcoming sluggish economic growth, restrained consumer spending and an intensely promotional holiday season,” chairman Gregg Steinhafel says in its release.

“For the full year, our U.S. businesses generated 14.3% growth in adjusted earnings per share, and we experienced our strongest growth in comparable-store sales since 2007.” The Minneapolis-based chain says it will continue to invest in programs that deliver on its “Expect More. Pay Less” brand promise, “driving value and loyalty with initiatives like 5% Rewards and REDcard Free Shipping.”

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