Welcome to this pre-recorded message. Today is Wednesday, September 12th, 2007 and I am Doug Scovanner, Chief Financial Officer of Target Corporation.
This afternoon, Target Corporation announced that it will review ownership alternatives for its credit card receivables, and in addition will re-evaluate the use of debt in its capital structure and its pace of share repurchases.
For decades, our corporation has been committed to executing strategies that enhance our long-term financial performance, fuel our long-term growth, and create substantial shareholder value. Our brand is the result of our long-term strategic focus, and we will not consider any alternative that would diminish our brand reputation going forward.
Consistent with our brand commitment, we have developed a world-class financial services team that has created a credit card business unique to the retail industry, both in terms of its ability to deepen our relationship with our guests and its ability to generate consistent financial performance. We are committed to maintaining the core operations of Target Financial Services and its team, including all aspects of the interaction between our team members and our guests.
Within the constraints of maintaining our commitment to our brand, our guests and our team members, we feel it is appropriate to approach the capital markets to determine whether Target or a financial institution is best suited to own our receivables.
Regardless of the outcome of the receivables review, we will initiate a review of debt in our capital structure and our pace of share repurchase. Due to substantial ongoing capital reinvestment requirements related to our core retail strategy, our review of our capital structure will not include consideration of any deliberate actions which would jeopardize our current short-term debt ratings. As a result, we expect to maintain the necessary corresponding long-term debt ratings within the “A” category.
We expect to complete both of these review processes by the end of December, and we will provide more information when appropriate. Thank you for your interest in Target Corporation. This concludes my remarks.