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Target 4Q net misses bullseye after weak holiday sales

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Target Corp. said its fiscal fourth-quarter net income dipped 2 percent amid the intense competitive holiday shopping season, USA Today reports.

Fox Business says the Minneapolis-based discount retailer earned $961 million, compared with a profit of $981 million in the same period a year ago. Revenue increased nearly 7 percent to $22.73 billion.

“We’re pleased with Target’s fourth quarter performance, particularly in the face of a highly promotional retail environment and continued consumer uncertainty,” Gregg Steinhafel, chairman, president, and CEO of Target Corporation, said in a news release. "We believe these results position us well to deliver on significant plans in 2013, including completion of the largest store opening program in our company’s history with 124 stores in Canada and additional Target and CityTarget locations in the U.S., investing in new processes and technology that will improve our guests’ multichannel experience and closing the sale of our credit card receivables.”

For the full year, Target earned $3 billion, up from $2.93 billion a year earlier, the Associated Press reports. Annual revenue grew 5 percent to $71.96 billion.

During the company's conference call with investors Wednesday morning, Target CFO John Mulligan confirmed that sales have been "softer than expected" so far this month, the Business Journal reports. However, the retailer is anticipating improved results and projecting full-year same-store sales growth of 2.7 percent.

Target will open its first stores north of the border next month. The retail giant is investing $1.5 billion in renovating and expanding its stores in Canada.

The big-box chain aired its first Canadian television commercial during the Academy Awards on Sunday, according to the Wall Street Journal. Check it out below:

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