Discount retailer Target said Monday that a difficult retail environment and weak results from its credit-card segment led to a 24 percent decline in third-quarter earnings.

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MINNEAPOLIS — Discount retailer Target said Monday that a difficult retail environment and weak results from its credit-card segment led to a 24 percent decline in third-quarter earnings.

Profit for the three months ended Nov. 1 fell to $369 million, or 49 cents per share, from $483 million, or 56 cents per share, last year. That was just above the average of 48 cents per share predicted by analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.

Revenue rose 2 percent to $15.11 billion from $14.84 billion last year, falling short of the $15.24 billion analysts expected.

The retail sector has been hit hard as consumers pull back on spending amid a deteriorating economy and shaky job market. Discounters such as Target and its chief rival, Wal-Mart, have benefited somewhat as consumers hunt for bargains, but Target has been helped less by this trend since more than 40 percent of its revenue comes from nonessentials such as trendy fashions and housewares.

Home-improvement retailer Lowe’s said Monday its third-quarter profit fell 24 percent, better than expected, but it predicted a fourth-quarter profit for 8 to 16 cents per share — below the average analyst forecast.

Target said it cut its 2009 expected capital expenditures by $1 billion. “The current environment and our financial outlook have naturally reduced our appetite for investment in our business,” Chief Financial Officer Doug Scovanner said in a statement.