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    Target Posts Increase in Q3 Sales, Comps

    Minneapolis-based retailer reports earnings per share of $0.54

    Target Corp. posted $17.3 billion in third-quarter net sales for its U.S. segment, a 1.9 percent increase from the year-ago period. The increase reflects a 1.2 percent boost in comparable sales -– which was better than the expected range of flat to 1 percent -- combined with sales from new stores.

    Sales for Q3 in the retailer's Canadian segment were up 43.8 percent to $479 million, from $333 million last year. This includes sales from non-mature stores and a comparable-sales increase of 1.6 percent.

    Target's Q3 performance was "driven by better-than-expected performance in our U.S. Segment,” said Brian Cornell, chairman and CEO of Minneapolis-based Target Corp. “We’re encouraged by the improving trend we’ve seen in our U.S. business throughout the year, and our fourth quarter plans are designed to sustain this momentum.

    "In Canada, we’ve made improvements to our operations, pricing and assortment in time for the holiday season, and we’re eager to measure how our guests respond," Cornell added.

    Target expects earnings per share to be $1.13 - $1.23 for Q4 2014, reflecting operating results in both retail segments, and earnings per share of $3.15 - $3.25 for the year.

    The retailer made note of the remaining after effects of the data breach in the fourth quarter of 2013, in which an intruder hacked its network and stole payment card information. During that quarter, Target incurred breach-related expenses of $12 million, with total expenses coming in at $158 million since that time.

    Target Corp. operates 1,934 stores - 1,801 in the United States and 133 in Canada.


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