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Earnings due next week


Target isn’t due to report its third quarter results until next Tuesday, but investors already have a good idea of what to expect from the company given its recent weakness in monthly results. Target’s same-store sales have declined at an accelerating pace the past four months and during October reached a low for the year when they dropped 4.8%.

Looking beyond Target’s monthly numbers, additional insight into the health of the consumer becomes available this week, as some of its direct competitors release their third quarter results. On Tuesday, the nation’s leading off price retailer, TJX Companies, and the largest department stores operator, Macy’s, are scheduled to report third quarter results. On Thursday, Wal-Mart Stores and Kohl’s will report and on Friday numbers are due from JCPenney and Abercrombie & Fitch.

With the exception of Wal-Mart, weakness is expected and earnings surprises are likely to be of the kind where reported results weren’t as bad as analysts thought they would be. Target could fall in that camp since the company’s top line performance is largely known at this point, but its effectiveness at managing expenses and controlling inventory growth are not.

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