Summary Box: Target's muted holiday sales

AP News
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Posted: Feb 23, 2012 4:49 PM
Summary Box: Target's muted holiday sales

HO-HUM HOLIDAY: Target Corp.'s fourth-quarter earnings fell 5.2 percent due to sluggish holiday sales.

BEHIND THE FIGURES: The holiday season turned out to be fiercely competitive with stores offering deep discounts to get cost-conscious shoppers to buy. But Target discounted less than rivals, giving up some sales to hold onto profit margins.

WHAT'S NEXT: Target said business has rebounded since the holidays and offered a full-year profit outlook above Wall Street estimates. Target expects earnings per share for the full year to be in the range of $4.55 to $4.75. Analysts had expected $4.27, according to FactSet.