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    Q3 Sales, Earnings Up at Target

    Same-store sales up 4.3%, earnings rise more than 10%

    Target Corp. reported sales during the third quarter of 2011 increasing 5.4 percent to $16.1 billion from $15.2 billion a year ago, due to a 4.3 percent increase in comparable-store sales and the contribution from new stores.

    Net earnings were $555 million for the quarter ended Oct. 29, compared with $535 million in the year-ago period. Earnings per share in the third quarter increased 10.2 percent to 82 cents from 74 cents in the same period a year ago.

    “We’re very pleased with our third quarter financial results, which reflect strong performance in our U.S. retail and U.S. credit card segments,” said Gregg Steinhafel, Target chairman, president and CEO. “We’re confident that we have the right strategy and team in place to drive continued strong performance this holiday season and well into the future, allowing us to continue rewarding our shareholders while investing millions of dollars each week to support the many local communities where our guests and team members live, work and shop.”

    The company expects fourth quarter 2011 diluted EPS of $1.43 to $1.53, on a GAAP basis. Q3 2011 EBITDA and EBIT margin rates were 9.1 percent and 5.8 percent, respectively, compared with 8.8 percent and 5.4 percent in 2010.

    In Q3 2011, the company repurchased about 4.5 million shares of its common stock at an average price of $50.45, for a total investment of $226 million. Year-to-date, the company has repurchased approximately 34.1 million shares of its common stock at an average price of $50.76, for a total investment of $1.7 billion.

    Minneapolis-based Target Corp. operates 1,767 stores across the United States and plans to open its first stores in Canada in 2013.

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