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    Target Third-quarter Earnings Rise 50 Percent, Expects 'Modest' Earnings Growth

    MINNEAPOLIS - Target Corp. on Thursday reported a 50 percent jump in third-quarter earnings Thursday, beating Wall Street expectations. The increase was fueled by a robust performance at its Target discount store division.

    MINNEAPOLIS - Target Corp. on Thursday reported a 50 percent jump in third-quarter earnings Thursday, beating Wall Street expectations. The increase was fueled by a robust performance at its Target discount store division.

    The company, which operates Target, Mervyn's and Marshall Field's, said net income for the quarter ended Nov. 3 was $277 million, or 30 cents per share, compared with $185 million, or 20 cents per share, in the year-ago period.

    Total revenues in the third quarter increased 9 percent to $10.19 billion from $9.33 billion in 2001, driven by an 11.8 percent revenue increase at Target Stores.

    But overall same-store sales increased just 0.1 percent.

    Bob Ulrich, chairman and chief executive officer, said Target was pleased with the results, "especially given our relatively soft sales performance during the quarter."

    "For the fourth quarter, our outlook for earnings growth is modest in light of last year's strong performance." Ulrich said. "Importantly, we expect to deliver strong earnings growth for 2002 overall, and we remain confident that we will continue to generate average annual earnings per share growth of 15 percent or more over time."

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