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Target Q2 beats expectations on strong sales, stock surges

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Target (TGT) beat estimates on both the top and bottom lines during its second quarter, boosted by higher sales, the company reported on Wednesday.

The big box retailer also boosted its full-year adjusted earnings per share guidance. Target shares jumped 16% in early trade Wednesday and hit record highs at the open.

Here’s are the numbers for Target’s second quarter, compared to Bloomberg-compiled estimates:

  • Revenue: $18.42 billion vs. $18.25 billion expected

  • Adj. earnings per share: $1.82 vs. $1.62 expected

  • Same-store sales: +3.4% vs. +3% expected

Thanksgiving Day shoppers line up to start shopping at a Target store in Chicago, November 27, 2014. REUTERS/Andrew Nelles (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS SOCIETY)
Shoppers line up to start shopping at a Target store in Chicago. (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS SOCIETY)

The retailer cited a surge in same-day fulfillment as driving sales growth. Its Order Pick Up, Drive Up and Shipt services accounted for nearly 1.5 percentage points of Target’s overall comparable sales growth during the quarter. Online sales jumped 34% during the quarter.

Target also hiked its estimates for the third quarter, seeing adjusted EPS between $1.04 per share to $1.24 per share, better than current expectations of $1.16.

“We are really pleased with our second quarter performance, which demonstrates the strength of our strategy and the durable financial model we've built over the last several years,” CEO Brian Cornell said in a statement.

“Traffic and sales continue to grow while our EPS reached an all-time high, driven by the strength of our team's execution and their focus on delivering for our guests,” he added.

Target, like its peers, is not immune to fears surrounding the U.S.’s tariffs on China. Investors will be paying close attention to management commentary regarding how the trade war may affect its business.

The big box retailer has also beefed up its grocery business. Target announced Monday that it was launching grocery brand Good & Gather to compete with Amazon (AMZN) and Walmart (WMT).

Good & Gather’s products are scheduled to hit shelves September 15. Target said that by 2020, the brand will have about 2,000 products. Grocery sales represent about a quarter of total revenue for Target.

"Our guests are incredibly busy and want great-tasting food they can feel good about feeding their families," Target’s executive vice president and president of food & beverage Stephanie Lundquist said in a statement.

"We saw this as a huge opportunity for Target to help. So our team got to work on our most ambitious food undertaking yet, reimagining our owned food brands to serve up convenient, affordable options that don't cut corners on quality or taste,” she added.

Target’s report comes on the heels of Walmart’s better-than-expected results last week. Walmart reported that it saw a 37% jump in online sales during its most recent quarter, as it continues to see strong growth in e-commerce.

Heidi Chung is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @heidi_chung.

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