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Discounters across the board are benefiting from the recession's trade-down effect.

Target

(TGT) - Get Target Corporation Report

seems to have missed the memo.

The company, better know for its trendy apparel than for basic consumer goods, posted a 13% drop in first-quarter earnings, its seventh consecutive drop in quarterly profit.

It still managed to beat analysts expectations, though, sending shares up 3.5% to $43.39 in pre-market trading.

During the quarter, profit fell to $522 million, or 69 cents a share, from $602 million, or 74 cents in the year-ago period. Analysts expected earnings of 59 cents.

Sales increased slightly to $14.36 billion from $14.3 billion last year, receiving a boost from food and commodity categories. Total same-store sales decreased 3.7%.

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The credit card segment, which has been experiencing rising delinquencies, was stable, profitable and consistent with expectations, Gregg Steinhafel, chairman, president and chief executive officer, said in a release.

Target is in

the midst of a heated proxy battle

, facing pressure from activist shareholder William Ackman to make more dramatic changes.

Last week rival

Wal-Mart Stores

(WMT) - Get Walmart Inc. Report

reported flat profit in the first-quarter, in-line with analysts' target.

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