Aug 21 -Target has joined a growing list of retailers seeing signs of trouble ahead as consumers hold back on spending. Bobbi Rebell reports.
CORRECTS SPELLING OF CHRISTOPHER HORVERS (CORRECTED VERSION OF 3184-USA-TARGET) Target has joined a growing list of retailers warning that consumers just aren't up to spending that much these days. Target said its annual profit was going to be at the low end of estimates. Macy's also recently cut its outlook for the year- blaming hesitant shoppers. And rival Wal-Mart said second quarter sales at its stores fell- and expects them to be flat in the current quarter. Target said its customers are facing ongoing household budget pressures- and said the company was still tweaking its newly opened Canadian stores-where sales fell short of forecasts. JP Morgan Analyst Christopher Horvers, who downgraded Target last week- said: "We expect comps for the back half to be guided lower, leaving the year even more weighted to the fourth quarter." And at UBS, Jason DeRise was concerned about Target's Canadian venture saying in a note: "The shares should be under pressure today due to the Canada miss and low quality U.S. beat." Second quarter earnings were just a penny better than forecasts.