Shares of Target Co. (NYSE:TGT) have been given an average recommendation of “Buy” by the twenty-five ratings firms that are presently covering the stock, Marketbeat reports. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold recommendation, seventeen have given a buy recommendation and one has assigned a strong buy recommendation to the company. The average twelve-month price target among brokerages that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $106.67.
A number of analysts have recently issued reports on the stock. Buckingham Research reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $117.00 price objective (up previously from $102.00) on shares of Target in a research note on Thursday, August 22nd. Credit Suisse Group set a $112.00 price objective on shares of Target and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, September 23rd. Robert W. Baird set a $115.00 price objective on shares of Target and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 21st. Wells Fargo & Co upgraded shares of Target from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $115.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, August 21st. Finally, Bank of America lifted their price objective on shares of Target from $105.00 to $125.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 22nd.
NYSE TGT traded down $0.68 during mid-day trading on Monday, hitting $111.15. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 2,303,300 shares, compared to its average volume of 5,214,397. Target has a 52-week low of $60.15 and a 52-week high of $112.94. The stock’s fifty day simple moving average is $107.43 and its two-hundred day simple moving average is $88.92. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.05, a current ratio of 0.84 and a quick ratio of 0.21. The firm has a market capitalization of $56.49 billion, a P/E ratio of 20.62, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.54 and a beta of 0.54.
Target (NYSE:TGT) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 21st. The retailer reported $1.82 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.61 by $0.21. Target had a net margin of 4.10% and a return on equity of 27.43%. The firm had revenue of $18.42 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $18.32 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $1.47 earnings per share. Target’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.6% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts forecast that Target will post 6.15 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, December 10th. Investors of record on Wednesday, November 20th will be paid a $0.66 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, November 19th. This represents a $2.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.38%. Target’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 48.98%.
Target announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a share repurchase program on Thursday, September 19th that authorizes the company to repurchase $5.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the retailer to buy up to 9.1% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are typically an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.
In related news, CAO Robert M. Harrison sold 13,540 shares of Target stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $104.66, for a total value of $1,417,096.40. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, insider Cathy R. Smith sold 8,412 shares of Target stock in a transaction on Friday, August 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $104.40, for a total transaction of $878,212.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders sold 83,478 shares of company stock valued at $8,915,363. Insiders own 0.24% of the company’s stock.
Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its holdings in Target by 1.3% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 40,186,903 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $3,480,588,000 after purchasing an additional 522,633 shares during the period. Northern Trust Corp boosted its holdings in Target by 0.3% in the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 6,944,281 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $601,443,000 after purchasing an additional 19,238 shares during the period. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. boosted its holdings in Target by 1.3% in the second quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. now owns 4,359,866 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $377,608,000 after purchasing an additional 54,263 shares during the period. Nuveen Asset Management LLC boosted its holdings in Target by 889.1% in the second quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC now owns 4,284,065 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $371,043,000 after purchasing an additional 3,850,951 shares during the period. Finally, Barrow Hanley Mewhinney & Strauss LLC boosted its holdings in Target by 21.6% in the second quarter. Barrow Hanley Mewhinney & Strauss LLC now owns 3,555,720 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $307,961,000 after purchasing an additional 630,907 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 81.90% of the company’s stock.
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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