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Target blames weather for 29% drop in 1Q profit

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Target Corp. earned $498 million in the first-quarter, down 29 percent from a profit of $697 million a year earlier, the Washington Post reports.

CNBC says sales at Target stores open at least a year fell 0.6 percent during the three months that ended May 4.

Target's quarterly same-store sales have not slipped since the third-quarter of 2009, according to Reuters.

The Minneapolis-based discount giant blames the disappointing results on chilly spring weather that kept shoppers from buying seasonal and weather-related merchandise.

“Target’s first quarter earnings were below expectations as a result of softer-than-expected sales, particularly in apparel and other seasonal and weather-sensitive categories,” Gregg Steinhafel, chairman, president, and chief executive officer of Target, said in statement. “While we are disappointed in our first quarter performance, we remain confident in our strategy, and we continue to invest in initiatives, including Canada, our digital channels and CityTarget, that will drive Target’s long-term growth.”

Target opened its first 24 Canadian stores in March -- which generated sales of $86 million in the first-quarter, the company said in a news release.

The retailer warned investors last month its first-quarter earnings would be weaker than anticipated. notes Target cut its full-year outlook to the range of $4.70 to $4.90 per share.

Click here, to follow Target's stock performance.

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