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June sales softer than expected at Target

BY Mike Troy

MINNEAPOLIS — Target reported a 2.1% same-store sales increase for the month of June that was toward the low end of the company’s expectations.

Despite June sales that were softer than expected, Target left its second-quarter profit forecast intact as the weaker-than-expected result offset a better-than-expected performance the previous month.

“Following better-than-expected performance in May, our June comparable-store sales were near the low end of our expected range,” said Gregg Steinhafel, Target’s chairman, president and CEO. “We believe these results, combined with our outlook for July, keep us on-track to deliver second quarter sales and adjusted EPS in line with the guidance we provided at the time of our first quarter earnings release.”

The company expects second quarter earnings adjusted to exclude expenses related to its entry in Canada to range from $1.04 to $1.14 and earning that include the Canadian costs to range from 94 centers to $1.04.

With a May comps increase of 4.4% and a June increase of 2.1% in the books, Target is calling for a July increase in the low to mid single digit range and expects to product a total second quarter same store sale increase of 3%.

The growth in July will likely come from some familiar sources, as was the case in June when the company said food grew at a low double digit pace and health and beauty increased in the mid single digits. Sales in the apparel and home categories increased in the low single-digit range while hardline categories advanced in the mid single-digits.

Customer traffic was flat during the month with all of the growth coming from increased transaction size.

While June results were less than planned and well below the June 2011 comp increase of 4.5%, the end point of the reporting period and the timing of the July 4 holiday likely had somewhat of an impact on sales. This year’s reporting period fell on Saturday, June 30 with July 4 falling on the following Wednesday, allowing shoppers more time to purchase Fourth of July related merchandise during the July reporting period. Conversely, the June reporting period the prior year ended on Saturday, July 2 and July 4 fell on the following Monday ensuring a larger percentage of Fourth of July sales likely fell in the June period.

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FDA orders unapproved oxycodone drugs off market

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration is asking companies to stop manufacturing and distributing unapproved drugs containing the painkiller oxycodone, the agency said Thursday.

The FDA said it issued the Federal Register notice as part of the Unapproved Drugs Initiative, a program it started in June 2006 to remove drugs from the market that have largely avoided regulatory scrutiny generally because their availability predates the agency’s current regulatory standards; some drugs removed from the market under the initiative in the past date back to the 1800s. All the drugs in the current notice are single-ingredient, immediate-release products with oxycodone, an opioid analgesic that the government considers a controlled substance because it has been linked to overdoses and abuse.

"It’s a high public health priority for FDA to remove these unapproved products from the market to minimize consumer exposure to drugs that may be unsafe, ineffective and of poor quality," FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research Office of Compliance acting director Ilisa Bernstein said. "Since FDA-approved versions of these oral dosage forms are available by prescription, there should be no negative impact on consumers as a result of this action and no disruptions to the drug supply."


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Neutrogena kicks off annual Wave for Change campaign

BY Antoinette Alexander

LOS ANGELES — Skin care brand Neutrogena, through its annual Neutrogena Wave for Change campaign, is aiming to empower teens and encouraging them to make a difference by donating to educational charities to improve school programs and amenities for children of underserved communities.

From July 1 to Aug. 31, Neutrogena and GlobalGiving, a fundraising charity that benefits education, have teamed up to reach a goal of $250,000 via online initiatives.

Drawing on the campaign’s motto, "make change a reality," brand ambassadors Hayden Panettiere, Emma Roberts, Sandra Echeverria and Miranda Cosgrove have come together to inspire others to get involved and spread the word.

Teens all over the country can show their support for the cause in two ways:

  • For every Wave for Change video view on the Neutrogena Wave for Change website or Neutrogena’s Facebook page, $1 will be donated to GlobalGiving to support U.S. educational organizations: Knowledge is Power Program, Para Los Ninos, and Education Through Music; and

  • For each participating Neutrogena product purchased, another $1 will be donated to GlobalGiving. Users can visit Neutrogena Wave for Change webite or Neutrogena’s Facebook page to activate the purchased products.

In addition to the online incentives, brand ambassador Emma Roberts has designed an exclusive Neutrogena Wave for Change tote bag in tandem with the philanthropic campaign.  With the purchase of two Neutrogena facial skin care products at Target, customers will be gifted Roberts’ tote at checkout, while supplies last.

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