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Target bursts into the holiday season with a bang

Anne D'innocenzio
AP Retail Writer

New York – Target is getting into the holiday spirit early with very strong third-quarter earnings as the company pushes faster delivery and invests heavily in stores and new brands.

Shares rose more than 10% to an all-time high before the opening bell Wednesday.

The Minneapolis retailer’s comparable sales, which also include online sales, rose 4.5%. That reflects a 2.8% growth in stores open at least a year. Third quarter online sales rose 31%.

Profit was $714 million, or $1.39 per share, including discontinued operations worth 2 cents. Earnings, adjusted to account for discontinued operations and non-recurring gains, came to $1.36 per share, easily beating Wall Street per-share expectations for $1.19.

Revenue was $18.67 billion, also topping projections.