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Target Trades Profit for Sales Growth in Holiday-Season Push

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Target Posts Holiday Sales That Topped Estimates

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Target Corp. posted holiday sales growth that topped analysts’ estimates, boosted by a surge in online orders, though the retailer’s heavy reliance on discounts took a toll on profit during the season.

Same-store sales gained 1.9 percent in the fourth quarter, the Minneapolis-based company said in a statement Wednesday. Analysts had predicted 1.5 percent, according to Consensus Metrix. But Target’s gross profit margin slipped to 27.9 percent from 28.5 percent a year earlier, a decline the retailer attributed to “investments in promotions.”