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Friday, January 10, 2014
Target Says Recent Data Breach Affected Million Customers

Target on Friday announced updates on its investigation into the recent data breach and its expected fourth quarter financial performance.

The third-largest U.S. retailer said in December that hackers had stolen data from up to 40 million credit and debit cards between November 27 and December 15, the second-largest such breach reported by a U.S. retailer.

As part of Target's ongoing investigation, the company on Friday said that certain guest information -- separate from the payment card data previously disclosed -- was taken during the data breach. Target said that the theft was not a new breach, but was uncovered as part of the ongoing investigation. At this time, Target's investigation has determined that the stolen information includes names, mailing addresses, phone numbers or email addresses for up to 70 million individuals.

Much of this data is partial in nature, but in cases where Target has an email address, it will contact affected customers.

"I know that it is frustrating for our guests to learn that this information was taken and we are truly sorry they are having to endure this," said Gregg Steinhafel, chairman, president and chief executive officer, Target. "I also want our guests to know that understanding and sharing the facts related to this incident is important to me and the entire Target team."

Target is offering one year of free credit monitoring and identity theft protection to all its customers who shopped its U.S. stores.

Attorneys general from New York and Massachusetts announced on Friday that they were joining a nationwide probe into the security breach.

Target also provided an update to its expected fourth quarter 2013 financial results. In its U.S. Segment, Target now expects fourth quarter 2013 adjusted EPS of $1.20 to $1.30, compared with prior guidance of $1.50 to $1.60. This outlook anticipates a fourth quarter 2013 comparable sales decline of approximately (2.5)%, compared with prior guidance of approximately flat comparable sales.

The company also forecast a 2.5 percent decline in fourth-quarter same-store sales. It had previously forecast flat sales.

Target expects its full-year earnings per share to include charges related to the data breach, but said it could not provide an estimate of the costs.

Target also announced today that it plans to close eight U.S. stores on May 3, 2014. These stores are located in: West Dundee, Ill.; Las Vegas, Nev.; North Las Vegas, Nev.; Duluth, GA; Memphis, Tenn.; Orange Park, Fla.; Middletown, Ohio; and Trotwood, Ohio. Eligible team members at these stores will be offered an opportunity to transfer to a similar position at a nearby Target location.

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