With the holiday season now in the rear view mirror U.S. consumers are being reminded of the world we live in. In the middle of the holiday shopping season Target made an announcement that had an impact on millions of individuals. On December 19th Target announced that 40 million credit and debit cards had been jeopardized by a cyber attack. Since then the number of cards has grown to 70 million, it has been reported that the number could grow to as many as 110 million! Just last week Neiman Marcus released news that it is dealing with a similar situation and other retailers are likely to be in the same boat in the coming weeks.
On Friday (January 10th) Target announced that the security issue had a negative impact on their holiday shopping results. Stores saw sales decline up to 5% (depending on location) when compared to the previous years results. When 4th quarter earnings are announced on February 26, 2014, the additional expenses the company has incurred due to the hacking incident will certainly have an impact. CEO Greg Steinhafel announced that 4th quarter EPS (earnings per share) were lowered to $1.20 – $1.30 from the previous guidance of $1.50 – $1.60. Continue reading