• Q3 profit rose to $637m from $555m
  • Sales increased 3.4% to $16.6bn
  • Comparable-store sales rose 2.9%

Discount retailer Target Corporation says it is optimistic about the upcoming holiday season after higher sales and a gain from the pending sale of its credit-card receivables portfolio boosted its third quarter.  

"We're pleased with Target's third quarter financial performance, which reflects superb execution across each of our business segments," said Gregg Steinhafel, chairman, president, and CEO.

"We are well-positioned to deliver strong fourth quarter performance by offering compelling merchandise and unbeatable value."

The retailer, which operates 1,782 stores, said third quarter profit rose to $637m, or $0.96 per share, up from $555m, or $0.82 per share a year earlier. Excluding the credit-card sale gain, adjusted earnings were $0.90 per share.

Sales increased 3.4% to $16.6bn, up from $16.1bn last year, with a 2.9% rise in comparable-store sales.

Looking head to the fourth quarter, the company expects earnings per share of $1.45 to $1.55, including expenses related to the company's Canadian market entry.