Discount retailer Target Corp issued its fiscal first-quarter results Wednesday, posting higher-than-expected profit and upgrading its outlook for full year earnings. Shares of the company rose more than 2 percent after the report, though they leveled off some later in the afternoon. In the three months through April, Target's net profit totaled $697 million, or $1.04 per share, up from $689 million, 99 cents a share, from the same period a year earlier. Overall revenue, meanwhile, rose 6.1 percent from the year-ago period to $16.54 billion.
Excluding certain one-time items, Target's earnings came out to $1.11 per share, easily ahead of the consensus estimate of $1.01 a share projected by a group of economists in a recent FactSet survey. The FactSet analysts were expecting revenue to be slightly higher, however, at $16.85 billion, on average. Same-store sales, or those from locations open at least a year, rose 5.3 percent on a year-to-year basis, just missing the analysts' expected same-store sales growth of 5.6 percent. For fiscal 2012, Target said it is now expecting adjusted earnings in a range of $4.60 to $4.80 a share, raising both the lower and higher ends of a previous forecast by 5 cents.