Target Corp. (NYSE:TGT) Q4 2014 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Feb 25, 2015 • 10:30 am ET


Target Corp. (NYSE:TGT) Q4 2014 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript


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Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by. Welcome to the Target Corporation Fourth Quarter Earnings Release Conference Call. During the presentation, all participants will be in a listen-only mode. Afterwards, we will invite you to participate in a question-and-answer session. [Operator Instructions] As a reminder, this conference is being recorded Wednesday, February 25, 2015.

I would now like to turn the conference over to Mr. John Hulbert, Vice President, Investor Relations. Please go ahead, sir.

John Hulbert

Good morning everyone and thank you for joining us on our fourth quarter 2014 earnings conference call. Sorry about the technical difficulties that delayed us a couple minutes there.

On the line with me today are Brian Cornell, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer; John Mulligan, Chief Financial Officer; and Kathee Tesija, Chief Merchandising and Supply Chain Officer. This morning, Brian will discuss our fourth quarter performance and our priorities going forward.

Then Kathee will provide insight in the holiday and fourth quarter results across our merchandise categories. And finally, John will provide more detail on our fourth quarter and full year financial performance. Following their remarks, we will open the phone lines for a question-and-answer session. As a reminder, we are joined on this conference call by investors and others who are listening to our comments via webcast. Following this conference call, John and I will be available throughout the day to answer any follow-up questions you may have. Also as a reminder, any forward-looking statements that we make this morning are subject to risks and uncertainties, the most important of which are described in our SEC filings. Also in these remarks, we refer to adjusted earnings per share, which is a non-GAAP financial measure. A reconciliation to our GAAP EPS is included in this morning's press release posted on our Investor Relations website. Finally, given that we are hosting our financial community meeting in New York next week. Our remarks today will focus on Target's fourth quarter performance and our guidance for the first quarter of 2015.

At next week's meeting, we will describe in detail our longer term expectations including full year 2015 financial performance. As a result we are shortening today's call to 45 minutes and will look forward to spending another two-and-half hours with all of you next week.

With that I'll turn it over to Brian for his comments on the fourth quarter and holiday season. Brian?

Brian Cornell

Thanks John, and good morning to all of you. I appreciate your patients this morning.

We are very pleased with our fourth quarter financial results, which we announced earlier this morning. Our fourth quarter adjusted EPS of $1.50 was 14.9% higher than last year and above the high end of the updated range we provided in our January 15, press release. Our fourth quarter comparable sales increase of 3.8% was also stronger than the updated guidance we provided in January, as we saw unexpected strength in our store channel sales in the last two weeks of the quarter.

And of course, we look