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Target Data Breach May Be Nearly Double Original Estimates

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MINNEAPOLIS (CBSMiami) – Target revealed Friday that the pre-Christmas data breach was nearly double the original number of victims.

The company said Friday that as many as 70 million customers were impacted by the hacks and had personal information ranging from phone numbers and emails to credit card numbers and more stolen.

Originally, Target said roughly 40 million credit and debit cards may have been impacted by the data breach from November 27 to December 15.

The company told customers Friday that its investigation of the breach has shown that personal information had also been stolen and more customers were affected.

“I know that it is frustrating for our guests to learn that this information was taken and we are truly sorry they are having to endure this,” Chairman, President and CEO Gregg Steinhafel said in a statement.

The company said customers won’t be liable for the cost of any fraudulent charges that stemmed from the breach.

It’s also offering a year of free credit monitoring and identity theft protection to customers that shopped at its stores. Individuals will have three months to enroll in the program, which Target said it will provide more details next week.

Target lowered its fourth-quarter adjusted earnings guidance to a range of $1.20 to $1.30 per share, down from $1.50 to $1.60 per share.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet expect earnings of $1.24 per share.

The Minneapolis company also said that it now foresees fourth-quarter sales at stores open at least a year will be down about 2.5 percent. It previously predicted those sales would be about flat.

Target cautioned that its fourth-quarter financials may include charges related to the data breach. The chain said the costs tied to the breach may have a material adverse effect on its quarterly results as well as future periods.

Shares of Target declined 84 cents to $62.50 before the market open.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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