NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 04/05/12 -- The improving labor market in the U.S. has seen unemployment rates drop drastically over the past few months, giving a much needed to boost to household incomes across the nation. With an improving confidence in the economy Americans have increased their spending. The Paragon Report examines the outlook for companies in the Discount, Variety Stores Industry and provides investment research on Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ: COST) and Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT).
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"The economy is beginning to pick up a little steam," Mark Lemond, president and CEO of Shoe Carnival Inc., said in a recent conference call. "When the customer has money in their pocket, they're definitely willing to spend it. This bodes well for the rest of 2012 and beyond."
Retailers are expected to report strong sales for March. "I think it will be a very solid showing, and a continuation of the strong trend we saw in February," said Perkins, president of Retail Metrics. "We would expect to see some upside surprise for the majority of retailers, given the strength we saw in the stores."
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Costco Wholesale Corporation announced its operating results for the second quarter (twelve weeks) and first half (24 weeks) of fiscal 2012, ended February 12, 2012, and its sales results for the four weeks ended February 26, 2012. Net sales for the quarter increased ten percent, to $22.51 billion, from $20.45 billion last year. Net sales for the first half of 2012 increased eleven percent, to $43.69 billion, from $39.27 billion last year.
Target Corp. announced that it has declared a quarterly dividend of 0.30 per common share. The dividend is payable June 10, 2012 to shareholders of record at the close of business May 16, 2012.
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