Target Corp reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit on Tuesday as traffic in its stores improved and shoppers purchased more than just necessities, like food or medicine.

It broke a streak of eight consecutive declines in quarterly profit for the No 2 U.S. discount retailer behind Wal-Mart Stores Inc .

But Target said it was cautious about its fourth-quarter performance.

Profit in its third quarter that ended October 31, rose to $436 million, or 58 cents per share, from $369 million, or 49 cents per share, a year earlier.

Analysts, on average, were expecting earnings of 50 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Sales rose 1.4 percent to $14.79 billion, while sales at stores open at least a year, a key retail gauge known as same-store sales, fell 1.6 percent.

Its shares rose to $50.61 in premarket trading after closing on Monday on the New York Stock Exchange at $50.29.

(Reporting by Nicole Maestri, editing by Maureen Bavdek)