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VOL. 126 | NO. 235 | Friday, December 02, 2011

Target November Sales Miss Expectations

MAE ANDERSON | AP Retail Writer

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP)Target Inc. said Thursday that a key revenue figure rose 1.8 percent in November, falling short of Wall Street estimates, as the busy shopping weekend after Thanksgiving failed to lift revenue.

A strong November is important for retailers, who make up to 40 percent of annual revenue during the holiday shopping season over the last two months of the year.

The discounter's results could indicate consumers are still cautiously spending during the holidays. But other major retailers had stronger results. Macy's Inc., Costco Wholesale Corp. and Limited Brands Inc. reported sales gains Thursday that beat Wall Street estimates.

Target said sales were strongest on the day after Thanksgiving, known as "Black Friday" when the chain rolled out "doorbuster" discounts and opened at midnight. But solid sales during that day weren't enough to boost overall results for the month.

CEO Gregg Steinhafel said results were near the low end of the Minneapolis company's expectations. It is predicting a stronger December, with revenue in stores open at least one year rising in the low- to mid-single digits.

Analysts polled by FactSet expected a 2.8 percent gain in November revenue in stores open at least one year, which is a key gauge of a retailer's financial health because it excludes stores that open or close during the year.

Total sales for the four weeks ended Nov. 26 rose 3 percent to $6.19 billion. Food and beauty products continued to be strong sellers. But toy and movies declined.

Year-to-date, revenue in stores open at least one year rose 3.2 percent and total sales rose 4 percent to $53.72 billion.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 78 215 4,981
MORTGAGES 96 322 6,548
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 13 38 1,517
BUILDING PERMITS 223 541 11,800
BANKRUPTCIES 84 203 5,162
BUSINESS LICENSES 19 65 2,001
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 124 351 6,815
MARRIAGE LICENSES 21 65 1,406

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