US retailer Target has reported that its net earnings for first quarter (Q1) of fiscal 2024 (FY24) declined by 0.8% to $942m, compared to $950m in the same period of FY23.  

The decrease is also reflected in the retailer’s diluted earnings per share, which dropped by 1.0% to $2.03 over the quarter. 

During the quarter ending 4 May 2024, total revenue for Target reached $24.53bn, a 3.1% decrease from $25.32bn in Q1 FY23.  

The decline was due to a 3.2% fall in total sales and a 3.9% rise in other revenue.  

Its comparable sales saw a 3.7% reduction, with comparable store sales falling by 4.8%, partially offset by a 1.4% increase in comparable digital sales.  

Target saw its operating income for the quarter declined by 2.4% to $1.29bn, compared with $1.32bn in Q1 FY23, primarily due to lower sales volume. 

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Operating income margin rate for the first quarter stood at 5.3%, a slight improvement from 5.2% in 2023. 

The retailer’s gross margin rate for Q1 FY24 was 27.7%, up from 26.3%, reflecting the impact of merchandising activities.  

In the second quarter of FY24, Target anticipates a 0 to 2% increase in comparable sales, with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and adjusted earnings per share (EPS) projected to be between $1.95 and $2.35.  

For the full year, the company maintains its expectation of a 0 to 2% increase in comparable sales and GAAP and adjusted EPS of $8.60 to $9.60. 

Target chair and CEO Brian Cornell said: “Our first quarter financial performance was in line with our expectations on both the top and bottom line, tracking the trajectory we outlined for this year and setting up a return to growth in the second quarter. 

“Looking ahead, our team will deliver for our guests through lower prices, a seasonally relevant assortment, ease and convenience, as we keep investing in our strategy and efficiency initiatives to get back to growth and deliver on our longer-term financial goals.” 

In May 2024 the retailer announced price reductions on 5,000 frequently shopped products.