Can Target Turn It Around This Year?

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Target (NYSE:TGT) may not have had the fourth quarter analysts had predicted, falling short in a number of areas, but the retailer is likely to come back strong in the current fiscal year.

The holiday season of the fourth quarter didn’t go exactly how a lot of people wanted it to go for Target, with consumers less enthusiastic about shopping in the face of the fiscal cliff. Profit came down as a result, and the retailer’s special collection of products aimed at holiday shoppers didn’t perform very well.

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Target’s fiscal fourth-quarter earnings reached $961 million, or $1.47 a share, but were down by $20 million, or $0.02 a share, from the same period a year earlier. However, adjusted earnings saw positive movement, rising from $1.49 per share a year ago to $1.65 in the previous quarter.

The new year may hold more hope for Target, and expectations are set a bit higher. The company forecast adjusted earnings higher than last year’s $1.11, with $1.10 to $1.20 for the first quarter of this year. For the full year, it predicted adjusted earnings between $4.85 and $5.05, which is a nice step-up from last year’s $4.76.

Sales in the fourth quarter rose, and may be a contributor to the company’s optimism for the current fiscal year. The $22.37 billion in sales was nice for the company, but same-store sales fell short of analyst expectations.

Target’s stock rose at first, but dropped back down in premarket trading on Wednesday morning.

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