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Target to Decide on Credit Card Receivables by Spring

Target Corp. said it now plans to announce a decision on "alternative ownership structures" for its credit card receivables portfolio in the first calendar quarter of 2008.

The 1,591-store upscale discounter said its review of alternatives is taking longer than expected, "in part as a result of current market conditions."

Major shareholder Pershing Square Capital Management last July reported that it had amassed 9.6% of outstanding common shares of Target stock, and its managing member William Ackman offered a range of steps for the retailer to raise its share price — including the possibility of spinning off its credit card receivables. Target on Sept. 12 said it had launched a review of that idea.

Target said it projects increased earnings before taxes from the portfolio through 2008.

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