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Despite Q1 Earnings Miss, Target (TGT) Stock Still Looks Strong

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Shares of Target (TGT - Free Report) tumbled over 5.5% on Wednesday after the retail giant reported lower-than-expected first quarter earnings. This seems like a bit of an overreaction, which means investors might want to take a look at Target’s current growth outlook and other fundamentals to see if they should consider buying Target stock.

First Quarter

Target’s adjusted first-quarter earnings climbed roughly 9.4% to touch $1.32 per share, which fell short of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.38. Meanwhile, Target’s Q1 revenues jumped 3.4% to $16.78 billion, topping our estimate of $16.53 billion.

The big-box retailer’s digital sales surged 28%, while overall traffic popped 3.7%. This growth helped comp sales pop 3%. Target’s comp growth looks even better compared to rival Walmart (WMT - Free Report) , which saw its U.S. comp sales grow 2.1%, with comp traffic up just 0.8%.

Overall, Target investors should be pleased with this top line expansion and same-store sales growth because this is what will matter in the long run as the company invests heavily in its future.

Business Initiatives

Target’s bottom line was negatively impacted by an array of new growth initiatives that it undertook to adapt to changing shopping patterns and compete against the likes of Amazon (AMZN - Free Report) and other online sellers. Target remodeled 56 stores and opened seven new locations, and that's just the start.

On top of rolling out three new brands, Target introduced its online ordering, curbside pickup service called “Drive-Up” in more than 250 stores. The company also expanded its “Restock” program nationwide, allowing customers throughout the U.S. to shop from thousands of popular items for next day delivery. Lastly, Target introduced same-day delivery at over 700 locations.

Some of these moves are part of Target’s $7 billion reinvestment plan, which currently runs through 2020, to update stores and open smaller locations in urban markets.


Moving on, Target now projects its comparable store sales will grow in the low to mid-single-digit range. The company also expects to report adjusted Q2 earnings between $1.30 and $1.50 per share. This high-side projection comes in well above our current Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.34 per share, which marks a nearly 9% climb from the year-ago period.

Looking ahead to the current full-year, our estimates are calling for Target’s revenues to hit $72.7 billion, representing a 1.2% climb. Meanwhile, Target’s earnings are projected to surge by over 12% to $5.29 per share. 

With all that said, let’s move on to Target’s recent price performance, before we take a look at what kind of value the stock presents at the moment.

Price Movement

Coming into Wednesday, shares of Target had climbed roughly 31% over the last year, outpacing the S&P 500’s 13% surge. Target stock has also outperformed its industry’s 23% gain, which includes the likes of Dollar General (DG - Free Report) , Burlington Stores (BURL - Free Report) , TJX Companies (TJX - Free Report) , and others. Year to date, shares of Target have also performed above its industry’s average.

Investors will also see that Target stock has crushed Walmart’s performance over the last year. Furthermore, spurred by Wednesday’s decline, Target stock currently rests almost 10% below its 52-week high.


Lastly, Target stock is currently trading at 14.2X forward 12-month Zacks Consensus EPS estimates, which marks a significant discount compared to the broader, nonfood retail-wholesale market industry’s 27.2X. Target stock is also trading well below its industry’s 18.1X.

Over the last 5 years, Target stock has traded as high 20.1X, as low as 10.9X, and at a 5-year median of 14.3X.

Therefore, investors can say with some confidence that Target stock appears relatively attractive at its current level, especially considering how it stands against its peers and rival Walmart, which is currently trading at 16.9X.

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