Target says sales have started to recover from trends observed following breach Says will continue to see continued improvement across all Canadian stores in FY14. Says "truly sorry" for impact breach has had on guests and says it is committed to making things right. Says committed to an end to end review in cooperation with third-party experts to understand how the breach occurred. Says conducting end to end forensic investigation to make informed decisions on potential security enhancements, accelerating the adoption of advanced chip enabled technology and investing more than $100M to equip stores stores and to issue Target branded smart chip credit and debit card. Says investing $5M in a new coalition with the BBB, National Cyber Security Alliance, National Cyber Forensics and Training Alliance. The company said sales have started to recover from the trends observed following breach related announcements in December and January. The company expects to absorb near term financial impacts. Plans to open Target Express in home market in July. Expects the benefit of expense optimization efforts to reach $1B in annualized savings by FY15. Comments made during the company's Q4 earnings conference call.
On The Fly: Analyst Upgrade Summary Today's noteworthy upgrades include: AT&T (T) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Macquarie... Alaska Air (ALK) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Buckingham... Amazon.com (AMZN) upgraded at Raymond James... American Electric (AEP) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank... Broadridge (BR) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Evercore ISI... Cablevision (CVC) upgraded to Hold from Sell at Brean Capital... Cisco (CSCO) upgraded to Conviction Buy from Buy at Goldman... Core Laboratories (CLB) upgraded to Outperform from Sector Perform at Iberia... Crown Castle (CCI) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James... Encore Wire (WIRE) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Sidoti... Gigamon (GIMO) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at DA Davidson... Juniper (JNPR) upgraded on improved outlook at RBC Capital... KPN (KKPNY) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman... Knight Transportation (KNX) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Avondale... Mattel (MAT) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman... Microsoft (MSFT) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Nomura... Premiere Global (PGI) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James... Quintiles (Q) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies... Southwestern Energy (SWN) upgraded to Market Perform at Raymond James... TE Connectivity (TEL) upgraded on positive catalysts at SunTrust... Target (TGT) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BofA/Merrill... TriState Capital (TSC) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Stephens... United Continental (UAL) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Evercore ISI... Vipshop (VIPS) upgraded to Buy from Hold at HSBC... Vocera (VCRA) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Craig-Hallum.
Target upgraded on improving initiatives and consumer at BofA/Merrill As previously reported, BofA/Merrill upgraded Target to Buy from Neutral. The firm believes Target is well positioned to benefit from an improving middle-income core customer base. BofA/Merrill said customers are responding well to improved assortment and merchandising and expects Target to continue to see increased spending at stores and online as customers trade-up to more expensive items. Price target increased to $92 from $86.