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Scared Off Target Shoppers Slash Q4 Profit Almost in Half

By ThreatMetrix
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As a result of the infamous breach where 40 million credit and debit card accounts were compromised and 70 million customers had their names, phone numbers, email and mailing addresses stolen, Target’s profit dropped 46 percent and revenue 5.3 percent.

According to an AP piece by Anne D’Innocenzio, Target says profits will be affected well into 2014. The Minneapolis-based retailer reported it earned $520 million, or 81 cents per share, for the three months ending Feb. 1. That compares with a profit of $961 million, or $1.47 per share, a year earlier. Revenue fell from $22.7 billion to $21.5 billion.

Target’s $44 million insurance policy helped somewhat ease the $61 million it’s had to shell out in breach expenses so far. Additional expenses could include payments to card networks to cover losses and expenses for reissuing cards, lawsuits, government investigations and enforcement proceedings. Oh, and Target is offering free credit monitoring services for a year to those who had their data compromised. Presumably that’s been paid for already, or will be, depending on how many customers take advantage of the offer.

The breach has caused Target to accelerate its $100 million plan to implement the use of chip-enabled technology by early 2015 in all 1,800 stores.

D’Innocenzio writes, “It isn’t clear when Target will fully recover from the breach, but Avivah Litan, a security analyst at Gartner Inc., puts the costs of the breach at between $400 million and $450 million.”

By ThreatMetrix Posted