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    Target Q2 Sales Up 3.8%, Earnings Rise 14%

    Retail segment overcame 'softer than expected' sales

    Sales increased 3.8 percent to $15.1 billion for the second quarter of 2010, Minneapolis-based Target Corp. reported.

    That’s up from $14.6 billion in 2009, due to the contribution from new stores combined with a 1.7 percent increase in comparable-store sales. The retailer also reported net earnings of $679 million for the quarter ended July 31, compared with $594 million for the same quarter last year.

    “Our retail segment generated strong profitability, overcoming softer-than-expected sales,” said Gregg Steinhafel, Target chairman, president and CEO. “Growth in guest traffic and apparel sales remained robust, and teams across the company continued to exercise thoughtful control of expenses. Our credit-card segment also enjoyed very strong results, as disciplined underwriting, superb execution and improving risk trends caused a sharp reduction in bad debt expense compared with last year. Regardless of the pace of recovery, we are well-positioned to continue to gain profitable market share.”

    Retail segment earnings before interest expense and income taxes (EBIT) were $1.09 billion in the second quarter of 2010, an increase of 3.1 percent from 2009.

    In the second quarter, the company repurchased 17.5 million shares of its common stock at an average price of $51.72, for a total investment of $907 million. Program-to-date through the end of the second quarter, the company has acquired 128.6 million shares of its common stock at an average price per share of $51.46, reflecting a total investment of $6.6 billion.

    Target operates 1,743 general merchandise and food discount stores in 49 states.
     

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