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    Target Reports Lackluster First Quarter

    MINNEAPOLIS -- Target Corp. here today reported a slight rise in net income and flat same store sales for its first quarter ended May 3.

    MINNEAPOLIS -- Target Corp. here today reported a slight rise in net income and flat same store sales for its first quarter ended May 3.

    Total sales at the company, which also operates Marshall Field's and Mervyn's department stores, reached $10.32 billion, up 7.6 percent, while same store sales declined 0.1 percent. Target same store sales were up 1.1 percent, but Mervyn's same store sales fell 7.3 percent, while sales at Marshall Field's were down 4.9 percent.

    Target earned $349 million, or 38 cents per share, compared to $345 million, or 38 cents per share, last year. According to research firm Thomas First Call, analysts on average were expecting a first-quarter
    profit of 39 cents per share, with estimates ranging from 38 cents to 40 cents.

    Target said its 7.6 percent revenue gain was driven primarily by its credit card operations and new store openings. Gross profit was essentially unchanged from a year ago, while expenses rose.

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