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Target's 3Q press release includes the bullish quote of the day:

"Based on our merchandising and marketing plans, combined with the expected impact of REDcard rewards and our newly completed remodel program, we expect Target’s fourth quarter comparable-store performance will be the best of any quarter in the last three years.”

So what does that mean exactly? Expect same store sales to exceed the prior three year peak comparable store sales performance of 2.8% achieved in 1Q10. While a low to mid single digit comp was once commonplace for TGT, this confidence has been elusive for at least three years. Interestingly, both WMT and TGT expect to see a sequential acceleration (with confidence from both) in sales during the most promotional, competitive, and IMPORTANT quarter of the year.

More details to come from the 10:30AM conference call, but it's safe to say that this commentary may have taken some of the suspense out of CFO Doug Scovanner's quarterly guidance ritual. 

Eric Levine