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Canada exit pulls down Target earnings

Target Corp. reported a loss in its fourth quarter, dragged down by costs to end its money-losing foray in Canada. But the discount retailer recorded stronger-than-expected sales during the holiday season as shoppers bought more clothing and other items, giving some hope that efforts to turn around its U.S. business are paying off. The results come a little more than a month after the discounter announced it was giving up on Canada and focusing on revving up its U.S. business. The company said that it lost $2.6 billion, or $4.14 per share, in the three months ended Jan. 31. That compares with a profit of $520 million, or 82 cents per share a year earlier. Excluding costs to exit Canada and other one-time items, Target’s adjusted earnings were $1.50 per share. Analysts polled by FactSet expected $1.46 per share.