Target (NYSE:TGT) Hits New 1-Year High Following Earnings Beat

Target Co. (NYSE:TGT)’s share price reached a new 52-week high during trading on Wednesday following a better than expected earnings announcement. The company traded as high as $124.97 and last traded at $124.89, with a volume of 7526853 shares. The stock had previously closed at $110.85.

The retailer reported $1.36 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.18 by $0.18. Target had a return on equity of 27.43% and a net margin of 4.10%. The business had revenue of $18.41 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $18.45 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.09 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.7% compared to the same quarter last year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, December 10th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, November 20th will be given a dividend of $0.66 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, November 19th. This represents a $2.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.11%. Target’s payout ratio is 48.98%.

Target announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock buyback plan on Thursday, September 19th that authorizes the company to repurchase $5.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the retailer to repurchase up to 9.1% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are usually a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

Several brokerages have commented on TGT. UBS Group upped their price target on Target from $103.00 to $112.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Tuesday, November 12th. ValuEngine downgraded Target from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 2nd. Robert W. Baird set a $115.00 price target on Target and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 21st. KeyCorp raised their target price on Target from $120.00 to $130.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Monday, November 11th. Finally, Barclays set a $115.00 target price on Target and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 21st. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eighteen have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. Target currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $108.56.

In other news, insider Cathy R. Smith sold 8,412 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $104.40, for a total transaction of $878,212.80. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, CAO Robert M. Harrison sold 13,540 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $104.66, for a total transaction of $1,417,096.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 79,338 shares of company stock valued at $8,501,694 in the last quarter. Corporate insiders own 0.24% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in Target by 1.3% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 40,186,903 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $3,480,588,000 after buying an additional 522,633 shares during the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp raised its position in shares of Target by 0.3% in the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 6,944,281 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $601,443,000 after purchasing an additional 19,238 shares during the period. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. increased its holdings in Target by 1.3% during the 2nd quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. now owns 4,359,866 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $377,608,000 after acquiring an additional 54,263 shares during the period. Nuveen Asset Management LLC increased its holdings in Target by 889.1% during the 2nd quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC now owns 4,284,065 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $371,043,000 after acquiring an additional 3,850,951 shares during the period. Finally, Barrow Hanley Mewhinney & Strauss LLC increased its holdings in shares of Target by 21.6% in the 2nd quarter. Barrow Hanley Mewhinney & Strauss LLC now owns 3,555,720 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $307,961,000 after buying an additional 630,907 shares during the last quarter. 81.58% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

The stock has a market cap of $57.84 billion, a P/E ratio of 23.17, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.60 and a beta of 0.54. The stock’s fifty day moving average price is $110.12 and its 200 day moving average price is $94.62. The company has a current ratio of 0.84, a quick ratio of 0.21 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.05.

Target Company Profile (NYSE:TGT)

Target Corporation operates as a general merchandise retailer in the United States. The company offers beauty and household essentials; food assortments, including perishables, dry grocery, dairy, and frozen items; and apparel, accessories, home décor products, electronics, toys, seasonal offerings, and other merchandise.

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