TARGET: Sales Dropped Off After We Announced Customer Data Was Stolen

No amount of value or convenience will attract customers if they think their personal information is at risk of being stolen.

Target just updated us on the recent customer data breach, which they’re telling us includes personal information stolen from up to 70 million individuals.

And the announcement caused sales to fall.

Management estimates comparable store sales fell 2% to 6% during the fiscal fourth quarter after they announced the data breach.

This is troubling for investor as Q4 is the busiest season for retailers.

Management expects to report $US1.20 to $US1.30 in earnings per share for the quarter, down from a previous estimate of $US1.50 to $US1.60.

Here’s the relevant excerpt from Target’s press release.

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The Company 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 $US1.20 to $US1.30, compared with prior guidance of $US1.50 to $US1.60. This outlook anticipates a fourth quarter 2013 comparable sales decline of approximately (2.5)%, compared with prior guidance of approximately flat comparable sales. The updated sales expectation reflects:

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