Target Earnings: Don’t Expect a Santa Claus Rally

Target's negative outlook has the stock sinking. This could be an ominous warning of what's to come as more retail stocks report earnings.

Justin Nugent

This article was last updated on 11/16/2022.

KEY POINTS:

  • Retail giant Target reported Q3 earnings on November 16th
  • EPS: $1.54 vs $2.13 expected
  • Revenue: $26.52B vs $26.38B expected
  • Plans to continue cutting costs to improve margins over the long term
  • Fourth quarter guidance cut, sales already beginning to slow

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Target reported another disappointing quarter as Q3 earnings came up short against the backdrop of continued inflationary headwinds and a supply glut. 

The big box retailer had experienced some positive sentiment yesterday on the back of Walmart’s top and bottom line Q3 earnings beat — but that was hope was marked down this morning just like the prices of items sold in Target’s clothing, outdoor, and leisure departments — which are being sold at a discount in order to help clear an overstuffed, underbought inventory. 

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Those sales were enough to eek out a small beat on revenue, but it came at the cost of a massive decrease in profit. The retailer missed EPS expectations by about 27%, and that was already a tapered expectation. 

This is not the first disappointing quarter for Target — Q2 and Q1 both saw double-digit EPS misses just like this one (-45.5% and -28.5% respectively), and with guidance cut yet again for what was expected to be Target’s busiest quarter, the stock market is not pleased. 

Shares of Target are currently trading lower by more than 12%, alongside dips in the rest of the retail and discretionary sectors.

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