Target says costs from Canadian launch affected fourthquarter results

Target says costs from Canadian launch affected fourth-quarter results AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email TORONTO – As Target Corp. prepares to open its Canadian discount-chic stores in the coming months, the company says the cost of its national rollout has hurt its fourth-quarter profits.The retailer said Wednesday that net income dipped two per cent as it dealt with intense competition during the crucial holiday season, while its launch in Canada remains on track to begin in late March.Chief executive Gregg Steinhafel told analysts on a conference call that by early April, a total of 24 stores will be open in Canada. The rest will arrive through four additional waves leading up to the holiday shopping season.Target says it also plans to seek out further real estate to open more stores in 2014.“After more than two years of effort, our Target Canada team is eager to welcome their first guests and begin generating sales,” said Steinhafel.Target earned US$961 million, or $1.47 per share, for the three months ended Feb. 2, down from $981 million, or $1.45 per share, a year earlier.Removing Canadian launch expenses of $148 million, earnings were $1.65 per share, which topped the forecast of analysts polled by FactSet for earnings of $1.47 per share.Target had forecast adjusted earnings between $1.64 and $1.74 per share.Revenue climbed seven per cent to $22.73 billion from $21.29 billion, meeting Wall Street’s expectations.During the quarter, revenue at stores open at least a year edged up 0.4 per cent. This figure is a key indicator of a retailer’s health because it excludes results from stores recently opened or closed.In Canada, Target acquired 124 properties once owned by Canadian retailer Zellers, and renovated all the stores to reflect its floor layouts and design.“The sites we obtained in the Zellers deal were extremely well located with very attractive leases,” said chief financial officer John Mulligan, adding that they “were in very poor physical condition.”Renovations at the new Target stores included expanding 40 locations beyond their existing floor space. Overall, the company will have an additional 600,000 square feet of space across its stores once the tweaks are completed, Mulligan said.It also opened three distribution centres across the country.“All in, we expect to invest about $1.5 billion of capital in the Canadian segment in 2013 as we complete renovations and expansions,” he said.The costs will negatively affect its earnings per share by 45 cents this year, which is more than the company had initially anticipated.“The dilution is a bit higher even than we expected perhaps a year ago and all of that is attributable to independent capital investment decisions we’ve made,” Mulligan said.In the U.S., the company’s exclusive Neiman Marcus collaboration did not turn out to be a holiday gift to the retailer during the quarter.The big-box retailer had high hopes for the collection of gifts made in partnership with the luxury department store, but just weeks later, Target was offering big discounts — up to 75 per cent off — to clear the shelves of unsold merchandise, which included lines of gifts from big-name designers.Also, during the critical shopping months of November and December, Target embraced a number of different strategies, like matching the price of online competitors such as Amazon.com, Walmart.com, Bestbuy.com and Toysrus.com. It was an attempt to combat “showrooming,” in which people use smartphones while they’re in stores to look for cheaper prices online.But the initiatives did not spur customers to buy more during the holiday shopping period, which is critical for retailers, as it can make up as much as 40 per cent of their annual revenue.The number of transactions fell one per cent during the quarter, although the amount spent per transaction rose 1.4 per cent.The company said its gross margin — the percentage of each dollar in revenue made that a company actually keeps — declined during the quarter due to holiday markdowns.Edward Jones analyst Brian Yarbrough said the Neiman Marcus collection was small, so it didn’t have a huge impact on results. The bigger problem was overall seasonal merchandise that didn’t sell during a slow December.“I think that was the biggest issue in this quarter, was leftover seasonal inventory that didn’t sell, so they cleared it out in January,” he said.But overall, it was a decent report, Yarbrough added.“Results were in-line, and forward guidance was pretty solid,” he said.For the full year, the Minneapolis company earned $3 billion, or $4.52 per share, compared to $2.93 billion, or $4.28 per share in 2011. Adjusted earnings were $4.76 per share.Annual revenue increased five per cent to $71.96 billion from $68.47 billion.Target Corp.’s outlook for 2013 was brighter. The chain foresees first quarter adjusted earnings of $1.10 to $1.20 per share. Analysts predict earnings of $1.05 per share.The chain’s fiscal 2013 outlook is for adjusted earnings between $4.85 and $5.05 per share. Wall Street expects earnings of $4.87 per share.Target (NYSE:TGT) shares were down 57 cents U.S. to $63.47 in New York by the early afternoon. by David friend, The Associated Press Posted Feb 27, 2013 7:57 am MDT read more

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Infertility breakthrough as cancer drug sparks growth of new eggs in astonishing

first_imgThey found that the tissue from eight of the cancer patients who had been treated with  ABVD had between four and 10 times more eggs compared with tissue from women who had received a different chemotherapy, or healthy women of a similar age.The ovarian tissue was seen to be in healthy condition, appearing similar to tissue from young women’s ovaries.Although the eggs are still in an immature state, the scientists are now trying to discover how they were created in the first place, then work out a way to bring them to maturity. It is unclear if the eggs in their current form would be functional.But if research can reveal the mechanism, it would help scientists understand how women could produce more eggs during their lifetime, which was until now thought to be impossible.Future studies will examine the separate impact of each of the four drugs that combine to make ABVD – known as adriamycin, bleomycin, vinblastine and dacarbazine – to better understand the biological mechanisms involved.Professor Charles Kingsland, a fertility expert of Liverpool Women’s Hospital, said: “This is a very small but extremely interesting study. It’s very early days but may give an insight as to how the ovary can make new eggs, which previously we thought was impossible.“It’s particularly fascinating that a commonly used chemotherapeutic agent to treat cancer in young girls has been shown to cause this effect.”The study was published in the journal Human Reproduction, and supported by the Medical Research Council. Healthy ovarian tissue on the left and after chemotherapy on the right, showing increase numbers of follicles and eggs  Infertile women have been offered new hope after scientists found that a common cancer drug triggers the development of new eggs, an outcome which was previously thought to be impossible.In a discovery hailed as “astonishing”, researchers at the University of Edinburgh proved it is possible to reverse the clock and coax the ovaries back into a pre-pubescent state where they begin to produce new eggs.Women are born with all their eggs, which is why conceiving becomes harder with age, because the eggs grow old, become damaged and eventually run out entirely.But scientists noticed that women who had undergone chemotherapy for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma with a drug combination known as ABVD had up to 10 times the number of eggs as healthy women.Far from damaging the chance of having a baby, the cancer drugs may actually have improved their fertility.The researchers speculate that the shock of chemotherapy may trigger stem cells in the ovaries into producing new follicles, the hollow hair-like structures which each produce a single egg. Lead researcher Professor Evelyn Telfer, of the University of Edinburgh’s School of Biological Sciences, said: “We were astonished when we saw what had happened to the tissue. It looked like pre-pubescent tissue with a high density of follicles and clustering that you don’t normally see in an adult.“We knew that ABVD does not have a sterilising effect like some cancer drugs can, but to find new eggs being made, in such huge numbers, that was very surprising to see.“It looks like something is being activated probably in the germline or stem cells and we need to find out what that mechanism is. It could be that the harshness of the treatment triggers some kind of shock effect or perturbation which stimulates the stem cells into producing new eggs.“I think it’s a pretty big deal. It is the first time that we have ever been able to see new follicles being formed within the ovary, and it may only be a small number of women, but it is significant that the same effect was seen in all of the women on ABVD. The outcome may be significant and far-reaching.”Scientists analysed samples of ovarian tissue donated by 14 women who had undergone chemotherapy, alongside tissues from 12 healthy women.center_img Healthy ovarian tissue, on the left, and after the ABVD treatment on the right, showing an increased numbers of follicles and eggs Credit:University of Edinburgh  Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

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