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    Target 4Q hurt by Canada investment, weak holiday

    Shares of Target Corp. closed down 93 cents, or 1.45 percent, at $63.12.
    John Gress/Reuters/File 2012
    Shares of Target Corp. closed down 93 cents, or 1.45 percent, at $63.12.

    NEW YORK — Target is setting its bullseye on Canada in 2013.

    Its investment in a Canadian launch this year and weaker-than-expected holiday sales caused Target Corp.’s net income to fall 2 percent in the fourth quarter of last year. But the second-largest discounter in the United States said its foray into Canada, a policy of matching competitors’ prices, and new designer lines will help its business this year.

    The big-box retailer, known for its cheap but trendy merchandise, pulled out all the stops to lure in cautious shoppers during the winter holiday season. But the initiatives did not spur customers to buy more during the period, a time when retailers can make up as much as 40 percent of their annual revenue.


    For the three months ended Feb. 2, Target earned $961 million, or $1.47 per share. That’s down from $981 million, or $1.45 per share, a year earlier.

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    Revenue climbed 7 percent to $22.73 billion from $21.29 billion. This met Wall Street’s expectations.

    During the quarter, revenue at stores open at least a year edged up 0.4 percent. This figure is a key indicator of a retailer’s health because it excludes results from stores recently opened or closed.

    Associated Press