UPDATE 3-Target profit beats views as store card draws shoppers

Thu Nov 15, 2012 12:02pm EST
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* Profit of 81 cents a share beats 77-cent Wall St view

* Sees holiday-quarter profit of $1.45 to $1.55 per share

* Target cards used to pay for 14 percent of sales in last quarter

* Sees same-store sales up 2-3 pct in holiday quarter

* Shares up 2 percent

By Phil Wahba

Nov 15 (Reuters) - Target Corp on Thursday said it expects more shoppers this holiday season to adopt its store credit and debit cards, a key tool that draws customers to the discount chain's stores and helped it report a bigger than expected third-quarter profit.

Target said 14 percent of sales during the third quarter were paid for with its debit and credit cards, compared with 9.5 percent a year earlier. The cards offer a 5 percent discount to foster customer loyalty.

"The RedCard is really a way to differentiate themselves and a way to push growth," said Edward Jones analyst Brian Yarbrough.   Continued...