Target Corporation reported yesterday that it experienced its first contraction in bank credit card receivables in the three month period ending May 3rd. The signs of maturation were also evident in Target’s delinquency and charge-off figures for the first quarter. As of May 3rd, Target had $3,751,000,000 in “Target smart VISA” receivables compared to $3,774,000,000 three months ago. Target’s net charge-off rate for its VISA program was 8.5%, compared to 7.3% in the fourth quarter, and 6.9% in the third quarter. Net write-offs for its store credit card program were 8.2%, compared to 8.4% for 4Q/02, and 7.9% in 3Q/02. The 90-day+ delinquency rate for “smart VISA” was 3.3% compared to 3.1% for the prior quarter, and for its “Guest Card” program the figure was unchanged at 5.1%. Target’s profits from its credit card operations was $151 million, slightly above the $150 million profit recorded in the fourth quarter, but well above 1Q/02 profits of $115 million. Totally, Target earned $349 million in 1Q/03. Target also noted yesterday that it was happy with the recent proposed VISA/MasterCard debit card settlement as approximately 25% of its in-store sales are on debit cards. Target says about 50% of its debit card transactions are non-PIN transactions. For complete details on Target’s 1Q/03 performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).