Target's Profits Rise 5 Percent in Third Quarter

CHICAGO - Target Corp. today released results from its fiscal third quarter. Earnings before charges rose 5 percent, helped by higher sales and profits at its Target discount chain, Reuters reported.

Target said it expects sales at stores open at least a year to rise in the low single-digits on a percentage basis in the all-important fourth quarter, which ends in January.

In the third quarter ended Nov. 3, gross profit margins fell from a year earlier, pinched by increased dependence on sales from its Target division, which has the lowest margins of all of the corporation's units.

Revenues increased 9 percent to $9.35 billion from $8.58 billion, driven by a 12.6 percent rise at Target Stores. Same-store sales at stores were up 1.5 percent.

Pretax profit at the company's Target division rose 14.7 percent to $444 million, and revenues rose to $7.57 billion.
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