Target released its second-quarter earnings on Wednesday the 21st which had net earnings coming in at $611 million, or .95 cents per share, up 6%. Target opened 44 stores in Canada during the quarter, bringing its total to 68, but diluting per-share earnings by 21 cents. Sales increased 2.4 percent to $16.8 billion from $16.5 billion last year, EBIT increased .4 percent from $1,324 million in 2012 to $1,330 million in 2013, net interest expense decreased to $171 million from $184 million in 2012, and gross margin rate increased by .2% to 31.4 percent. In the second quarter, the Company returned more than $1.1 billion to shareholders through dividends and share repurchase. Year-to-date, the Company has repurchased approximately 21.9 million shares of its common stock at an average price of $67.41 for a total investment of $1.47 billion, and paid dividends of $463 million. Gregg Steinhafel, the CEO of the company says that "Target's second quarter financial results benefited from disciplined execution of our strategy and strong expense control, offsetting softer-than-expected sales”.
In third quarter 2013, the Company expects adjusted EPS of $0.80 to $0.90 and GAAP EPS of $0.55 to $0.65. The 25-cent difference between the adjusted and GAAP EPS ranges reflects expected dilution of 22 cents related to Canadian operations and 3 cents related to the expected reduction in the beneficial interest asset. For full-year 2013, Target now expects adjusted EPS will be near the low end of its previous guidance of $4.70 to $4.90.