Target February sales figure up 7 percent

A Target store logo seen in Miami.
AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

MINNEAPOLIS - Target (TGT) says a key sales figure rose 7 percent in February as more people came to stores and spent more on core categories such as food and health care products.

Results were above Target's own and analyst expectations. Analysts expected a 5.2 percent rise.

Target shares rose 71 cents to $57.40 in premarket trading.

Total sales during the four weeks ended Feb. 26 rose 8 percent to $5.13 billion. Total traffic and average amount spent both rose.

Consumers spend more after incomes rise again
Chrysler says US sales rise 40 percent in Feb.

Food, health care and beauty were the strongest categories. Accessories and apparel performed above average as well.

The company expects revenue in stores open at least one year to rise 4 percent in the first quarter and in the low-to-mid single digits in March.

This figure is a key gauge of a retailer's health because it excludes results from stores recently opened or closed.