Target's disappointing holiday season reveals one big challenge for 2020

That looks to be a lesson Target ( TGT ) — and its upbeat investors — will be consistently reminded of in 2020 after a blistering 2019 campaign that saw blowout sales and earnings seemingly every quarter.

“We faced challenges throughout November and December in key seasonal merchandise categories and our holiday sales did not meet our expectations.

However, because of the durability of our business model, we are maintaining our guidance for our fourth quarter earnings per share,” said Target Chairman and CEO Brian Cornell in a statement.

In the past two weeks alone, investors have been forced to digest holiday same-store sales declines at Kohl’s ( KSS ), Macy’s ( M ) and J.C. Penney ( JCP ).

“I mean that U.S. consumer remains in a very strong shape both from a credit perspective sentiment spending,” JPMorgan CFO Jennifer Piepszak told analysts on an earnings call Tuesday.

Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see whether buyers step into Target’s stock ahead of what could be mixed initial 2020 guidance when fourth quarter earnings are reported in February.

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