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Earnings report revels Target profits fall over 40% following data breach

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On the morning of February 26, 2014, Target corporation released their fourth quarter earnings report from Q4 2013. In the wake of the customer data breach from November-December of 2013. Unfortunately for Target investors, the numbers were not pretty from a profitability standpoint. Here are a few of the key highlights from the earnings report:

  • Revenue decreased by 3.8% to $21.5 billion, although this number beat projections.
  • Net income decreased 46% to $520 million.
  • EPS was $.81, which managed to narrowly beat estimates.
  • 2013 revenue increased .9% to $72.6 billion
  • 2013 profit fell 34.3% to $1.97 billion

See the full earnings report at the Target Investors website.

Target is projecting around a $4.00 EPS for the 2014 year, however that could end up being an uphill climb for a number of reasons. In addition to the normal issues of increasing operating costs and fierce competition from both brick & mortar and online competition, Target has some additional issues of their own that could up being roadblocks to success.

Blame Canada?

One of the reasons for Target's lack of profitability could be due to issues with our neighbors to the North. Forbes reports the following relating to the Canadian aspect of Target sales:

"Target said that operations in Canada caused a $1.13 per-share drag on its full-year earnings and a 40-cent per-share drag on its fourth quarter profit."

The Breach

The other, and much bigger issue, is the credit card information theft that occurred during the holiday shopping season of 2013. Millions of customers had their information stolen, and consumer confidence in Target was shaken substantially. It remains to be seen if there will be more long term implications from the data breach, but for now it seems that Target has an uphill climb to get back into the good graces of both investors and consumers.

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