Target Co. (NYSE:TGT) Expected to Post Quarterly Sales of $31.79 Billion

Wall Street brokerages forecast that Target Co. (NYSE:TGT) will post sales of $31.79 billion for the current quarter, according to Zacks Investment Research. Seven analysts have made estimates for Target’s earnings, with the highest sales estimate coming in at $32.97 billion and the lowest estimate coming in at $31.30 billion. Target posted sales of $28.34 billion in the same quarter last year, which suggests a positive year-over-year growth rate of 12.2%. The business is scheduled to issue its next quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, March 1st.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Target will report full year sales of $106.67 billion for the current year, with estimates ranging from $104.62 billion to $109.14 billion. For the next year, analysts anticipate that the company will post sales of $109.26 billion, with estimates ranging from $107.08 billion to $113.38 billion. Zacks Investment Research’s sales calculations are a mean average based on a survey of sell-side research firms that cover Target.

Target (NYSE:TGT) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, November 17th. The retailer reported $3.03 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.83 by $0.20. The firm had revenue of $25.29 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $24.60 billion. Target had a return on equity of 44.68% and a net margin of 6.29%. The company’s revenue was up 13.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $2.79 EPS.

TGT has been the subject of several analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research cut Target from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $276.00 price objective for the company. in a report on Tuesday, October 26th. Raymond James raised their price objective on Target from $285.00 to $290.00 and gave the company a “strong-buy” rating in a report on Thursday, November 18th. The Goldman Sachs Group raised their price objective on Target from $281.00 to $308.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 19th. Credit Suisse Group initiated coverage on Target in a report on Friday, November 19th. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $286.00 price objective for the company. Finally, Telsey Advisory Group raised their price objective on Target from $265.00 to $305.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Friday, August 13th. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, seventeen have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. According to MarketBeat.com, the stock has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $259.41.

In related news, insider Christina Hennington sold 4,173 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, November 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $250.95, for a total value of $1,047,214.35. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider Brian C. Cornell sold 25,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, September 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $245.98, for a total transaction of $6,149,500.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 195,271 shares in the company, valued at approximately $48,032,760.58. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.29% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in TGT. OLD Mission Capital LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Target in the 3rd quarter worth about $200,000. Voloridge Investment Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Target in the 1st quarter worth about $4,276,000. Colony Group LLC raised its holdings in shares of Target by 15.2% in the 1st quarter. Colony Group LLC now owns 12,578 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $2,491,000 after acquiring an additional 1,656 shares during the last quarter. Stonnington Group LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Target in the 1st quarter worth about $286,000. Finally, Sunbelt Securities Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Target by 15.3% in the 1st quarter. Sunbelt Securities Inc. now owns 2,144 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $425,000 after acquiring an additional 284 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 78.36% of the company’s stock.

TGT stock opened at $248.76 on Friday. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $247.10 and a two-hundred day moving average price of $243.92. The stock has a market cap of $121.40 billion, a PE ratio of 19.81, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.42 and a beta of 1.03. The company has a current ratio of 1.04, a quick ratio of 0.46 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.78. Target has a 1 year low of $166.82 and a 1 year high of $268.98.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 10th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, November 17th will be paid a dividend of $0.90 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, November 16th. This represents a $3.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.45%. Target’s payout ratio is presently 28.66%.

Target announced that its board has authorized a share repurchase program on Wednesday, August 18th that authorizes the company to buyback $15.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the retailer to buy up to 12.4% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are typically an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

About Target

Target Corp. engages in the operation and ownership of general merchandise stores. It offers food assortments including perishables, dry grocery, dairy, and frozen items. The company was founded by George Draper Dayton in 1902 and is headquartered in Minneapolis, MN.

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