Credit Commentary

Target Corp Earnings Release

By Administrator on Tuesday, April 28 2009

Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) reported net earnings of $609 million for the fourth quarter ended January 31, 2009, compared with $1,028 million in the fourth quarter ended February 2, 2008. Earnings per share in the fourth quarter decreased 34.4 percent to 81 cents from $1.23 in the same period a year ago. All earnings per share figures refer to diluted earnings per share.

The discount retailer is reeling under pressure just as much as the others in the sector. The company also operates a credit card segment that offers branded proprietary and Visa credit card products, which adds to its woes of the lower profits as delinquencies rise from this segment.

Average receivables in the fourth quarter increased 9.6 percent to $9.1 billion in 2008 from $8.3 billion in 2007. Average receivables directly funded by Target declined 36.2 percent in the fourth quarter to $3.6 billion from $5.6 billion in 2007, reflecting JPMorgan Chase's investment in the receivables portfolio.

The credit card segment incurred a $135 million pre-tax loss in the quarter, compared with a $189 million profit in fourth quarter 2007. This loss was the result of a $245 million addition to the allowance for doubtful accounts in the quarter. Segment pre-tax return on invested capital was negative 15.0 percent in the fourth quarter 2008, compared with 13.4 percent in 2007.