Target shares plunged as much as 8.8% on Wednesday morning after it cut its fourth-quarter comparable sales view due to a rather depressing holiday sales season, missing the average Wall Street estimates.
Erasing most of last quarter's gains...
Target said same-store sales for the quarter were up just 1.4%, missing Wall Street estimates of 3.8%.
Sees 4Q comparable sales +1.4%, estimate +3.8% (Consensus Metrix, average of 20 estimates)
Still sees FY adjusted EPS $6.25 to $6.45, estimate $6.49 (range $5.95 to $7.01) (Bloomberg data)
"We faced challenges throughout November and December in key seasonal merchandise categories, and our holiday sales did not meet our expectations," Chief Executive Brian Cornell said.
The company noted that apparel and beauty sales outperformed, while electronics, toys, and home goods offset those gains.
Digital sales jumped 19% over the period thanks to curbside pick when orders are placed online. The company said the online service increased by 50% during November and December compared with the same period in 2018.
Target shares plunged as much as 8.8% premarket on Wednesday due to weak holiday sales and missing Wall Street estimates. The decline in Target also sparked retail selling panic that has now spread into Walmart.
Macy's, J.C. Penney, and Kohl's have all reported same-store sales declines for the holiday season, which begs the question: Is the retail industry flashing a warning sign that could suggest the consumer isn't as strong as Wall Street thinks?
There's also another important question we must ask: Has the industrial recession, that has already triggered an employment slowdown, now starting to weigh on consumers?
If so, Target could be an important bellwether that suggests economic weakness could persist in 2020 – rather than a massive recovery the stock market has already priced in.