Target rattles Wall Street with weak quarter, outlook

Target, stung by the mass migration by its customers online and elsewhere, said its profit plummeted 43 percent during the most recent quarter as sales at its stores weakened. The coming year doesn’t look much better: Its outlook for the first quarter and all of 2017 were far below what industry analysts had been expecting.

Shares tumbled more than 13 percent to a two-year low Tuesday, and the numbers in Target’s report rattled Wall Street, dragging down Wal-Mart, Macy’s and other retailers.

Retail on Tuesday was the worst performing sector in the Standard & Poor’s 500.

All traditional retailers have struggled as Amazon.com and other online retailers draw shoppers away, but Target has been unable to keep pace with Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which posted another quarter of higher customer traffic and same-store sales. At a meeting with analysts Tuesday, Target CEO Brian Cornell said he hasn’t seen as many troubled retailers since the recession nearly a decade ago.

“Our industry is…

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