Analysts expect poor quarterly sales from Target

Wall Street is expecting a poor quarterly sales and earnings report from Target Wednesday.

Analysts anticipate Target will be hit hard by the massive theft of customer data late last year, the retailer's disappointing entry into Canada and the general weakness of the retail sector.

"The market's clearly concerned about the data breach and Canada. So, we don't expect it'll be Target's best quarter," said Morningstar retail analyst Ken Perkins.

He said there will be a lot of questions about the effects of cyberthieves stealing 40 million payment card account numbers.

"What's the impact of the data breach, fees they might have to pay, any ongoing litigation? And then clearly what that means for comp sales, as well and how traffic patterns have progressed throughout the past several weeks," said Perkins.

According to the Bloomberg News Service, Wall Street analysts project on average a 5 percent drop in sales and a double-digit plunge in profits.

Banks and credit unions report they have spent $200 million replacing about half of the cards compromised by the data theft.

Your support matters.

You make MPR News possible. Individual donations are behind the clarity in coverage from our reporters across the state, stories that connect us, and conversations that provide perspectives. Help ensure MPR remains a resource that brings Minnesotans together.