Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Target Corp. (NYSE:TGT) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report report published on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Target continued with its earnings beat performance, as it reported second-quarter fiscal 2016 results. However, top-line fell short of the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the fourth consecutive quarter. Total sales also declined year over year for the third straight quarter. The sale of the pharmacy and clinic businesses to CVS Health impacted the top line. Stiff competition from other discount retailers who are far more geographically diversified also hurt the company’s performance. As a result, management trimmed its fiscal 2016 earnings projection and provided a subdued comparable sales outlook citing tough retail environment. Nevertheless, the initiatives such as the development of omni-channel capacities, diversification and localization of assortments along with emphasis on flexible format stores, bode well. The company also intends to invest in merchandise categories such as Style, Baby, Kids and Wellness that are performing well.”

Several other brokerages also recently commented on TGT. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a hold rating and set a $72.00 price objective on shares of Target Corp. in a research note on Thursday, August 18th. Argus reaffirmed a hold rating on shares of Target Corp. in a research note on Thursday, July 7th. Nomura set a $75.00 price objective on shares of Target Corp. and gave the company a hold rating in a research note on Friday, October 7th. Vetr downgraded shares of Target Corp. from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating and set a $74.42 price objective for the company. in a research note on Monday, September 19th. Finally, Edward Jones downgraded shares of Target Corp. from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 17th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seventeen have assigned a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Target Corp. has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $74.49.

Analyst Recommendations for Target Corp. (NYSE:TGT)

Shares of Target Corp. (NYSE:TGT) traded up 0.22% on Tuesday, reaching $67.51. The company had a trading volume of 790,732 shares. The company’s 50-day moving average is $68.80 and its 200-day moving average is $72.64. Target Corp. has a one year low of $65.50 and a one year high of $84.14. The company has a market capitalization of $38.80 billion, a PE ratio of 12.49 and a beta of 0.68.

Target Corp. (NYSE:TGT) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 17th. The retailer reported $1.23 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.12 by $0.11. Target Corp. had a net margin of 4.59% and a return on equity of 23.59%. The business earned $16.20 billion during the quarter. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $1.22 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 7.2% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts predict that Target Corp. will post $4.95 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Saturday, December 10th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, November 16th will be paid a dividend of $0.60 per share. The ex-dividend date is Monday, November 14th. This represents a $2.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.56%. Target Corp.’s payout ratio is 44.44%.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA increased its stake in Target Corp. by 13.4% in the second quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 13,035,746 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $910,156,000 after buying an additional 1,545,167 shares during the period. Dodge & Cox increased its stake in Target Corp. by 12.9% in the second quarter. Dodge & Cox now owns 11,757,005 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $820,874,000 after buying an additional 1,341,678 shares during the period. BlackRock Fund Advisors increased its stake in Target Corp. by 2.4% in the second quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 8,183,360 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $571,362,000 after buying an additional 189,882 shares during the period. BlackRock Group LTD increased its stake in Target Corp. by 3.9% in the second quarter. BlackRock Group LTD now owns 6,339,423 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $442,618,000 after buying an additional 236,371 shares during the period. Finally, LSV Asset Management increased its stake in Target Corp. by 6.6% in the second quarter. LSV Asset Management now owns 4,556,988 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $318,168,000 after buying an additional 283,650 shares during the period. 86.16% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Target Corp.

Target Corporation offers everyday essentials and merchandise to its customers. The Company sells a range of general merchandise and food through its store and digital channels. The Company’s general merchandise stores offer an edited food assortment, including perishables, dry grocery, dairy and frozen items.

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