City Target

MINNEAPOLIS – Target Corp. executives entered the 2012 fiscal year upbeat despite an intensely competitive holiday season that restrained fourth-quarter sales growth. Net earnings decreased 5.2% to $981 million, or $1.45 per diluted share in the final quarter. That was still enough to beat the consensus estimate of $1.40 among analysts surveyed by FactSet. Full-year net income edged up 0.3% to $2.93 billion, or $4.28 per diluted share. Retail sales for the quarter gained 3.3% to $20.94 billion, driven by a 2.2% increase in comparable-store sales that fell well short of management’s goal. Full-year comparable-store sales, though, rose 3%

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