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Target (TGT - Free Report)

It has been a very challenging operating environment for retailers and very few of them have been immune to the Amazon effect. For Target, some of the recent initiatives to compete with Amazon appear to be working.

The company reported better than expected yesterday, beating on both the top and bottom lines. They also raised their guidance for the year.

Their efforts to improve their e-commerce operations and lower prices helped them.  Comparable digital sales were up 32% in the quarter, up from 16% in the same quarter a year ago.

Foot traffic also improved at the stores. Their new small format stores are doing well and they’re planning to double the number of those stores this year. They are also planning to expand a next-day delivery service.

Target is a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock with a VGM Score of “A”. It has a juicy dividend yield of 4.6%.

Air Products & Chemicals (APD - Free Report)

APD is a leading industrial gases company. They have operations in 50 countries and derive 60% of their revenues from outside the US. So this company is a strong play on global economic recovery.

The company reported excellent results recently—beating on the top and bottom lines and also raising their guidance for the year. Estimates have moved up significantly after the report.

Further, APD is a dividend aristocrat—it has raised dividends for more than 25 consecutive years. The current dividend yield is 2.6%.

The stock is ranked Zacks #2 (Buy) and the industry is in top 15% currently.

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