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Target Starts Operations in Canada

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Canadians will now have the option to shop at Target Corporation (TGT - Free Report) , as the general merchandiser and food discount retailer opens its much awaited stores in Ontario. The doors of the 3 pilot stores at Stone Road in Guelph, Milton Mall Shopping Centre in Milton and Gates of Fergus in Fergus will be opened at 8 a.m. on Tuesday morning for shoppers.

Target, in order to expand its global footprint, has been eyeing the Canadian market for a long time, and plans to open 124 stores in 2013 with the first 24 outlets slated to be inaugurated in March across Ontario. We believe the opening of stores outside the United States will definitely boost the company’s top and bottom lines and improve cash flow generation capability. The stores will carry items ranging from beauty and apparel to home, grocery, and personal care.

Some of the brands that would find shelf space in the Target stores include Nate Berkus Collection, the Sonia Kashuk Collection, Giada De Laurentiis and Shaun White apparel. The stores would also feature a wide range of Target owned and exclusive brands, such as C9 by Champion, Circo, Archer Farms, Market Pantry and Up & Up.

Last week, Target came out with its fourth-quarter fiscal 2012 results. The company posted adjusted earnings of $1.65 per share that rose substantially from $1.49 delivered in the year-ago quarter. This relates to results from the U.S. operations only. Analysts polled by Zacks had projected earnings of $1.47 per share for the quarter.

Total revenue climbed 6.8% to $22,726 million from the prior-year quarter, and came ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $22,642 million. Following sturdy results, shares of this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company hit a new 52-week high of $66.92 yesterday, before closing at $66.44, up 3.6% from the previous day’s session.

We believe Target’s P-fresh remodel program, 5% REDcard Rewards program, and “Expect More. Pay Less.” brand promisewill help sustain sales momentum, continue to drive traffic and enhance customer shopping experience. In order to tap the urban markets where real estate remains a constraint, the company plans to open smaller-format stores called CityTarget, similar to that of its biggest rival, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT - Free Report) .

Moreover, Target announced its year-round price matching policy with the aim of offering its patrons the facility to match the prices being offered by online retail giants. The company will match prices with Inc.’s (AMZN - Free Report), Wal-Mart’s, Best Buy Co. Inc.’s (BBY - Free Report), and

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