Half full or half empty?

Major financial news sources had two decidedly different ways to headline Minneapolis-based Target Corp’s earnings report today.


Bloomberg: Target First-Quarter Profit Tops Analysts Estimates


New York Times: Revenue Flat, but Target’s Profit Falls 13% (the headline was later changed)

MPR (AP): Target posts 13-percent drop in 1st quarter profit

Which is more accurate? You decide. Target made a half-billiion-dollar profit in the first quarter.

Meanwhile, the company is imposing a near news blackout on its annual shareholder meeting next week, when it has a showdown with hedge fund manager William Ackman. The proxy fight for four seats on the board of directors has become one of the nastiest business stories lately.

In an advisory to news reporters, Target officials said it will ban electronic devices at its meeting at an unfinished store near Milwaukee next Thursday. There will be no question-and-answer session with company officials at the meeting, nor will it be Webcast. Reporters will be able to cover it the old-fashioned way — with a pencil and a notepad. I had asked if live-blogging would be allowed. No.

The restrictions will also apply to shareholders. It will be interesting to see if anyone with an iPhone and a Twitter account slips through.

How do they do things at WalMart? Differently. WalMart Watch was able to live-blog and take pictures at last year’s annual meeting, although the biggest controversy appeared to be whether Miley Cyrus would appear . She didn’t.