Target warns cost of data breach could hurts profit in future

NEW YORK Wed Feb 26, 2014 7:47am EST

NEW YORK Feb 26 (Reuters) - Target Corp's net profit almost halved in the holiday quarter as the third-largest U.S. retailer dealt with the fallout of a massive data breach and warned that costs related to the event could hurt future profits.

Target said it has not been able to estimate future expenses related to the data breach.

Wednesday marks the first time Target faces Wall Street since the breach, which led to the theft of about 40 million credit and debit card records and 70 million other records with information such as addresses and phone numbers of shoppers compromised.

"These costs may have a material adverse effect on Target's results" in the current quarter, the year and future periods, it warned investors on Wednesay.

Net earnings fell to $520 million, or 81 cents a share in the three months that ended on Feb 1, from $961 million, or $1.47 a share, a year earlier.

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