May 20, 2009, 10:07 a.m. EST
Target first-quarter profit fell a much less-than-expected 13% after the company controlled expenses and inventory to offset declines in discretionary spending Analysts, on average, estimated Target to earn 58 cents a share on sales of $14.8 billion, according to FactSet. Analysts had raised their average estimate from 52 cents a share after the company said earlier this month that profit would be significantly higher than Wall Street expected after it reduced discounts more than expected and controlled expenses.Credit card segment profit declined to $39 million from $181 million, in part reflecting the company's 49% reduction in its investment in the unit's average receivables. The company said the unit's results were stable and consistent with its expectations.
The S&P Retail Index (RLX 331.05, +3.22, +0.98%) gained 1.6% to 332.93. Seems to be giving back some of its gain as the day progresses.