Target says data breach helped drive profits down 46% - KMSP-TV

TARGET: Data breach helped plunge profits 46 percent

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Target announced its fourth quarter earnings on Wednesday -- a 46 percent income drop and a 5.3 percent drop in sales.

Shopping season was at high tide during Target's infamous data breach that affected as many as 110 million people.

Target says it earned $520 million -- 81 cents per share -- for the three months that ended Feb. 1, compared to $961 million a year earlier -- $1.47 per share. Revenue fell to $21.5 billion from $22.7 billion.

Revenue at stores open at least a year fell 2.5 percent. Analysts had expected a profit of 80 cents on revenue of $21.5 billion, according to FactSet estimates.

Target's shares rose nearly 4 percent, or $2.19 to $58.70 in premarket trading Wednesday as the earnings beat Wall Street estimates by 1 cent.

The breach that compromised 40 million credit and debit card accounts between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15 was disclosed to customers on Dec. 19. In early January, the company revealed hackers also stole personal information from potentially 70 million customers.

Read more: E-mail phishing attack to blame for breach?

"Clearly, we are accountable and we are responsible, but we are going to come out at the end of this a better company and we are going to make significant changes, that's what you do when you go through a period like this, you have to learn from it and you have to apply those learnings" Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel said in a CNBC interview in January.

Read more: Target CEO reveals timeline of breach, response

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