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Target's key Jan. revenue metric tops Wall Street

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Discount retailer Target Corp. said Thursday that a key revenue measure rose 3.1 percent in January as shoppers bought holiday clearance merchandise.

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The gain topped Wall Street expectations, and Target shares edged up 31 cents to $63 in premarket trading.

Gregg Steinhafel, chairman, president and CEO of Target, said its customers "continue to shop with discipline in the face of a slow economic recovery and new pressures, including recent payroll tax increases."

As a result, he said Target remains "focused on providing unbeatable value combined with a superior guest experience in both our stores and digital channels."

Analysts had expected a 1.7 percent increase for the four weeks ended Jan. 26, according to Thomson Reuters.

The figure is based on revenue at stores opened at least a year and is considered an indicator of a retailer's health because it excludes results from stores recently opened or closed.

For the quarter to date, revenue at stores open at least a year rose 0.4 percent.. The figure is up 2.7 percent for the year to date.

Total revenue for the five weeks ended Feb. 2 were $5.97 billion, up 29.6 percent from a year ago.

For the quarter to date, total revenue was up 6.8 percent to $22.37 billion. For the year to date, revenue rose 5.1 percent to $71.96 billion.

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