Retailers, consumers and prices
The maker of Maytag and KitchenAid appliances posted a quarterly profit that left analysts’ expectations in the dirt. Try $2.51 a share compared with Wall Street’s estimate for $1.33. People, when a company tops expectations to the tune of $1.18, that’s crazy.
The strong results, not surprisingly, prompted the world’s largest appliance maker to raise its full-year outlook as well as its forecast for 2010 U.S. industry shipments.
The company had been hurt by the sluggish economy and weak housing market in North America — its largest market — but increasing demand for energy-efficient products and a federal stimulus program are luring shoppers back.
Target has said its food and consumable items, like paper towels and toilet paper, are flying off store shelves, while its trendy clothes and home decor languish as newly thrifty shoppers avoid unnecessary spluges.
This past Saturday at a Target store in New Jersey, the diverging sales trends were evident.