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Target profits down 46% after data breach

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Target stores were hit hard after their data breach in December of last year. Target stores’ profits fell 46 percent in the fourth quarter which ended Feb. 1, following the theft of credit card numbers and other personal information from millions of the shoppers. Target’s revenue decline amounted to 5.3 percent while customers chose to shop elsewhere after the data breach incident was revealed, according to a Yahoo! News report on Wednesday.

Target, the country’s second-largest discount retailer, made the report public on Wednesday. The data breach occurred from late November until mid-December of last year. The firm is expecting sales to be slow for some time as it issued a profit forecast for the current quarter and remainder of 2014 below the estimates made by Wall Street.

About two-and-a-half months ago, Target revealed that hackers had targeted their credit card terminals in its stores across the country. In the process the data regarding customers’ credit cards were stolen and sometimes criminally used via the hackers’ use and sales of the data they stole.

Minneapolis-based Target earned $520 million – or 81 cents per share – for the quarterly period ending Feb. 1, 2014. A year earlier, during that quarter, Target’s profit was $961 million – or $1.47 per share.

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