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Target's Better Than Estimates

The company also adds $2 billion to its buyback.
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said growth in same-store sales, combined with contributions from new stores and its credit card operations, helped lift third-quarter revenue nearly 12% from a year ago.

Also, the big discount merchant added $2 billion to its stock buyback.

The Minneapolis-based retailer posted earnings for the third quarter ended Oct. 29 of $435 million, or 49 cents a share. Target had a profit from its continuing operations of $324 million, or 36 cents a share, in the third quarter last year.

Revenue reached $12.21 billion, up from $10.91 billion last year. Same-store sales rose 5.9%.

Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were looking for earnings of 45 cents and a top line of $12.15 billion.

Target believes it will earn $1.50 a share or more in the second half of this year, and the company believes it will "continue to grow market share profitably in this year's fourth quarter and well beyond."

Starting in the fourth quarter, Target expects to see a mid-teen percentage growth in earnings per share. The company earned 90 cents a share from continuing operations in the fourth quarter last year.

The additional stock repurchase allowance follows a $3 billion program announced in June 2004. Under that buyback, Target has repurchased about $2.2 billion of stock.