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 / Updated  / Source: Associated Press

Target Corp says the massive data breach over the holidays helped push its profit down 46 percent and could hurt future earnings too.

The discount retailer said Wednesday that sales fell 5.3 percent as the breach scared off customers. Target says it earned $520 million, or 81 cents per share, for the three months that ended Feb. 1. That compares with a profit of $961 million, or $1.47 per share, a year earlier.

Revenue fell to $21.5 billion from $22.7 billion. Revenue at stores open at least a year fell 2.5 percent.

Analysts had expected a profit of 80 cents on revenue of $21.5 billion, according to FactSet.

"These costs may have a material adverse effect on Target's results" in the current quarter, the year and future periods, it warned investors.

-- The Associated Press and Reuters