- U.S. retail giant Target reported better-than-expected fourth quarter earnings and revenue earlier on Wednesday, sending its shares higher in pre-market trade.

Target said adjusted earnings per share came in at $1.30 in the final three months of 2013, beating expectations for adjusted earnings of $1.24 per share. The company’s fourth quarter revenue totaled $21.52 billion, above forecasts for revenue of $21.47 billion.

Target’s fourth quarter U.S. comparable sales fell 2.5%, compared to expectations for a gain of 2.6%. The figure was consistent with prior guidance and reflected meaningfully softer sales following the announcement of a data breach on December 19.

Target was a victim of a cyber-attack at the end of 2013 and data for at least 70 million customers were compromised. The company said it was still not able to estimate future expenses related to the data breach.

“During the first half of the fourth quarter, our guest-focused holiday merchandising and marketing plans drove better-than-expected sales. However, results softened meaningfully following our December announcement of a data breach,” said Gregg Steinhafel, chairman, president, and chief executive officer of Target Corporation.

“As we plan for the new fiscal year, we will continue to work tirelessly to win back the confidence of our guests and deliver irresistible merchandise and offers, and we are encouraged that sales trends have improved in recent weeks,” he added.

For the first quarter of 2014, Target expects adjusted earnings of $0.60 cents to $0.75 cents per share. For full-year 2014, Target expects adjusted earnings of $3.85 to $4.15 per share.

Following the release of the report, Target shares rose 1.4% in pre-market trade.

Meanwhile, the outlook for U.S. equity markets was mildly higher. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a gain of 0.25% at the open, S&P 500 futures added 0.3%, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a rise of 0.35% at the open.

Please LIKE our Facebook page - it makes us stronger