Breach outliers: $118m charge for TJX

The Associated Press reports that "TJX profit plunges on costs from massive data breach:" FRAMINGHAM, Mass. (AP) - TJX's second-quarter profit was cut by more than a half as the discount store owner recorded a $118 million charge due to costs from a massive breach of customer data....

About one-tenth of the charge from the data breach was to cover costs this past quarter. The rest is a reserve to cover future expenses from lawsuits, investigations, and other items.

Previous costs were either "$25 million" (Boston Globe, May 16, 2007) or "$17 million" (Security Focus, May 21, 2007). The Globe reports on a previous $5m charge, but there's a $3m discrepancy that I can't account for.

Doubtless, an army of consultants will be out there trumpeting the top line number, and not explaining that most of it is a reserve, to make future earnings more predictable. Also, when you plug the $37 million into the "buy our product" ROI calculators and results in a far less 'compelling' pitch.

(Via Pogo Was Right.)