UPDATE 1-Target raises full-year forecast ahead of holiday season; shares surge

surge@ (Adds details, CEO comment, shares; compares with estimates)

Nov 20 (Reuters) - Target Corp raised its full-year profit forecast after posting better-than-expected quarterly results on Wednesday, signaling a strong holiday season for the big-box retailer as it benefits from same-day delivery services and revamped stores.

The retailer's shares, which have gained about 68% in 2019, were up more than 10% in trading before the bell.

Target has posted strong sales growth in the past few years, winning over customers by speeding up shipment and delivery through drive-up, click-and-collect and Shipt services.

"Our third quarter results are further proof of the durability of our strategy, as we're seeing industry-leading strength across multiple metrics," Chief Executive Officer Brian Cornell said.

The company's comparable digital sales surged 31% in the quarter, while store traffic rose 3.1%.

Overall same-store sales rose 4.5%, beating analysts' average estimate of 3.6% rise.

Target said it now expects full-year adjusted profit forecast of $6.25 to $6.45 per share, up from its prior range of $5.90 to $6.20 per share.

Excluding certain items, Target earned $1.36 cents per share in the quarter ended Nov. 2, beating expectations of $1.19, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Net earnings rose to $714 million, or $1.40 per share, from $622 million, or $1.18 per share, a year earlier. (Reporting by Aishwarya Venugopal and Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru)

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