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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Target Corp’s (TGT.N) reported profit in the holiday quarter that fell short of analyst estimates even as sales beat forecasts, sending its shares down 2 percent in premarket trading on Tuesday. FILE PHOTO: Shoppers exit a Target store during Black Friday shopping in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, U.S., November 24, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo Target has missed Wall Street’s fourth-quarter profit expectations for the past two years. Excluding items, Minneapolis-based Target earned a profit of $1.37 per share in the quarter ended Feb.3, just short of the average estimate of $1.38. Shares of the company were down 2 percent at $73.65 in premarket trading. Same-store sales topped estimates in the quarter, rising 3.6 percent. Analysts expected a 3.1 percent increase, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Online sales surged 29 percent and contributed 1.8 percentage points to overall comparable sales. The holiday season tends to represent 20 percent to 40 percent of annual sales for many retailers. The big-box chain forecast adjusted earnings of $1.25 to $1.45 per share for the first quarter, with the average analyst estimate at $1.40 per share. Editing by Arun Koyyur and Bernadette BaumOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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