Wall Street brokerages forecast that Target Co. (NYSE:TGT) will post $1.17 earnings per share (EPS) for the current fiscal quarter, Zacks Investment Research reports. Five analysts have made estimates for Target’s earnings. The lowest EPS estimate is $1.12 and the highest is $1.23. Target reported earnings per share of $1.09 in the same quarter last year, which indicates a positive year-over-year growth rate of 7.3%. The business is scheduled to announce its next quarterly earnings report on Tuesday, November 19th.

On average, analysts expect that Target will report full year earnings of $6.15 per share for the current year, with EPS estimates ranging from $6.05 to $6.24. For the next financial year, analysts anticipate that the business will post earnings of $6.51 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $6.25 to $6.70. Zacks Investment Research’s EPS calculations are a mean average based on a survey of research analysts that cover Target.

Target (NYSE:TGT) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, August 21st. The retailer reported $1.82 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.61 by $0.21. Target had a return on equity of 27.43% and a net margin of 4.10%. The firm had revenue of $18.42 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $18.32 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $1.47 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.6% compared to the same quarter last year.

Several equities analysts recently weighed in on TGT shares. Morgan Stanley increased their target price on Target from $76.00 to $107.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 22nd. Credit Suisse Group set a $112.00 target price on Target and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, September 23rd. Guggenheim reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Target in a research report on Wednesday, August 21st. Citigroup upgraded Target from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their target price for the stock from $80.00 to $130.00 in a research report on Thursday, August 22nd. Finally, Barclays set a $115.00 target price on Target and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 21st. Six investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, seventeen have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Target presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $105.21.

In other Target news, insider Don H. Liu sold 4,140 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $99.92, for a total transaction of $413,668.80. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, insider Cathy R. Smith sold 8,412 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $104.40, for a total value of $878,212.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 81,478 shares of company stock valued at $8,695,363 over the last 90 days. 0.24% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its stake in shares of Target by 1.3% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 40,186,903 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $3,480,588,000 after buying an additional 522,633 shares in the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp grew its stake 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 buying an additional 19,238 shares in the last quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. grew its stake in shares of Target by 1.3% in the second quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. now owns 4,359,866 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $377,608,000 after buying an additional 54,263 shares in the last quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC grew its stake in shares of Target by 889.1% in the second quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC now owns 4,284,065 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $371,043,000 after buying an additional 3,850,951 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Barrow Hanley Mewhinney & Strauss LLC grew its stake in shares of Target by 21.6% in the second quarter. Barrow Hanley Mewhinney & Strauss LLC now owns 3,555,720 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $307,961,000 after buying an additional 630,907 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 81.80% of the company’s stock.

NYSE TGT traded up $1.84 during trading hours on Wednesday, hitting $110.36. 5,211,386 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 5,239,640. The business’s 50 day moving average is $106.75 and its 200-day moving average is $88.59. Target has a 12-month low of $60.15 and a 12-month high of $111.25. The firm has a market capitalization of $55.74 billion, a P/E ratio of 20.47, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.51 and a beta of 0.54. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.05, a quick ratio of 0.21 and a current ratio of 0.84.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, December 10th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, November 20th will be paid a dividend of $0.66 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, November 19th. This represents a $2.64 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.39%. Target’s dividend payout ratio is presently 48.98%.

Target announced that its Board of Directors has approved a stock buyback program on Thursday, September 19th that permits the company to buyback $5.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization permits the retailer to repurchase up to 9.1% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are typically a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

Target Company Profile

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 d├ęcor products, electronics, toys, seasonal offerings, and other merchandise.

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