Target earnings beat, sending shares higher

Customers at a Target store in Colma, Calif.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Target reported quarterly earnings and revenue that beat analysts' expectations on Wednesday.

Following the report, Target's shares rose in premarket trade. (Get the latest quote here.)

The company's third-quarter earnings excluding items slipped to 54 cents per share from 56 cents a share reported in the year-earlier period.

Revenue increased to $17.73 billion from $17.26 billion a year ago.

Analysts had expected the retailer to post earnings of 47 cents a share on revenue of $17.56 billion, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.

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Target has 1,801 stores in the United States and 133 in Canada and is expected to hire 70,000 workers for the holiday shopping season.

Since a massive data breach at its stores during the last holiday season, Target has taken strides to boost its image with recent initiatives such as free shipping on online orders ahead of the holidays. The retailer also incorporated Apple Pay support into its mobile store when the payments system was announced.

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In late August, Target and Nordstrom teamed up with a marketing and analytics firm to allow Instagram users to purchase items directly by clicking images in their feeds. Liking an image saves the featured item for a later purchase.

What is Target's stock doing now? (Get the latest quote here.)

Target's new chairman and CEO, Brian Cornell, will appear on CNBC's "Halftime Report" at 12:15 p.m. ET.

CNBC's Krystina Gustafson contributed to this report.