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Target says a key revenue figure rose 2.1 percent in September as shoppers picked up back-to-school items and groceries.
Analysts expected a 2.2 increase for revenue in stores open at least one year.
Total sales for the five weeks ended Sept. 29 rose 2.6 percent to $6.08 billion. The strongest categories were food and health and beauty.
Revenue in stores open at least one year is a key metric of a retailer's financial health because it excludes results from stores that open or close during the year.
Minneapolis-based Target expects October revenue in stores open at least one year to rise in the mid- to low-single digit percentage range.