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VOL. 126 | NO. 235 | Friday, December 2, 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.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 89 322 8,071
MORTGAGES 93 381 9,580
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 31 81 1,439
BUILDING PERMITS 236 688 17,295
BANKRUPTCIES 52 207 5,613
BUSINESS LICENSES 35 143 3,091
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 28 128 3,378
MARRIAGE LICENSES 27 120 1,808

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