Despite recent indications that consumer spending may be slowing, Target Corp. today reported earnings rose 18 percent to $651 million or $0.75 per share for the quarter ended May 5, compared to net income of $554 million or $0.63 per share during the comparable quarter last year. Although the company beat analysts’ earnings expectations, Target fell slightly short of revenue estimates, reporting revenue increased 9 percent to $14.04 billion versus $12.9 billion in the 2006 period. Analysts were expecting revenues of $14.17 billion and earnings of $0.71 per share. The retailer said comparable store sales rose 4.3 percent. Target officials were cautiously optimistic about the potential impact of rising gas prices on consumer spending. “At the current time we do not see any near term economic indications that give us an undue amount of concern, though we are certainly prepared to manage our business in a more difficult or competitive climate,” said Bob Ulrich, chairman and CEO of the chain.