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Target's fourth quarter profits plunge

Feb. 26, 2014 at 12:32 PM

MINNEAPOLIS, Feb. 26 (UPI) -- A massive data breach pushed transactions at U.S. Target stores to the lowest level in two years, the company reported Wednesday.

The breach included theft of personal information concerning 70 million customers and payment information with some overlap on 40 million customers, the company said recently.

Wednesday, Target said transactions dropped 5.5 percent in U.S. stores for the fourth quarter from the same period in 2012, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Profit dropped 46 percent over the same stretch. Part of the drop was due to a company push to build up its business in Canada. But the credit card data theft that occurred in the middle of the holiday shopping season did not help.

Expenses related to the breach came to $61 million in the quarter.

The expenses included a credit monitoring service that Target extended to customers and a forensic evaluation of the theft.

Sales in the quarter fell 3.8 percent to $21.52 billion.

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