Target said profit was $594 million, or 79 cents per share, for its second quarter ended August 1, compared with $634 million, or 82 cents per share, a year earlier.
Analysts, on average, had been expecting it to earn 66 cents per share, according to Reuters Estimates.
Sales fell 2.7 percent to $14.6 billion, while sales at stores open at least a year, a key retail gauge known as same-store sales, fell 6.2 percent.
Shares rose to $43.60 in premarket trading on Tuesday after closing at $41.38 on the New York Stock Exchange on Monday.
(Reporting by Nicole Maestri, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)