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How Will Data Breach Affect Target's Bottom Line?

Updated: 12/19/2013 10:32 PM
Created: 12/19/2013 7:58 PM KSTP.com
By: Josh Rosenthal

"A mitigating factor is this did not happen right before black Friday," explained University of St. Thomas Finance Professor Dave Vang. If it had, Vang said, Target could be in much worse shape.

That's because most people have already done their Christmas shopping, so Target's data breach won't cause its sales to take as large a hit as they may have otherwise.

"What it will do, however, is probably increase their costs for the next month or so," Vang said, because fixing the glitch and dealing with concerned customers will take a lot of manpower. "A lot of people at Target are probably working around the clock."

But even though 40 million people could be affected by the glitch, Vang predicts, "things to be totally back to normal, or back to business for Target, within a month."

Sound a little optimistic for a problem this big? Maybe not.

We found plenty of shoppers at Target, like Tony Velez, who said "I think Target's going to learn its lesson. It's going to become a better company because of this."

Even security expert Evan Francen, President of FRSecure, told us he shopped at Target Wednesday after learning about the data breach.

"I did," he said, "and I used my card."

So long story short, the experts say Target's business is still in pretty good shape, but paying close attention to your credit card statement is probably still a good idea.

"Whenever I use it there," laughed shopper Elaine Hazelwood, Target bag in hand.

Vang did say that he thinks Target's stock price could take a small hit. We checked, Target's stock did drop 2.2 percent Thursday.


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