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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
May 20, 2014
12:52 EDTTGTEarnings Preview: Target taking 'significant actions' to strengthen security
Target (TGT) is scheduled to report first quarter results before the market open on Wednesday, May 21, with a conference call scheduled for 10:30 am ET. Target offers merchandise at discounted prices through its retail stores and online business. EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for earnings per share of 71c on revenue of $17.01B, according to First Call. The consensus range for EPS is 57c-78c on revenue of $16.84B-$17.21B. LAST QUARTER: Target reported fourth quarter adjusted EPS of $1.30 on revenue of $21.52B, against estimates for 79c and $21.45B, respectively. GAAP EPS for the quarter was 81c. The company provided guidance for Q1 adjusted EPS of 60c-75c, which excludes approximately (2c) related to the expected reduction of the beneficial interest asset, as well as any net expenses related to the data breach. For fiscal year 2014, Target forecast adjusted EPS of $3.85-$4.15, excluding (7c) related to the expected reduction of the beneficial interest asset, as well as any net expenses related to the data breach. The consensus at the time of the Q4 earnings release was $4.15. Target was unable to estimate future expenses related to the data breach, but said costs may have a "material adverse effect" on Q1 and FY14 results. The company said results "meaningfully softened" following the announcement of the data breach. NEWS: On May 5, Chief Executive Officer Greg Steinhafel said he would step down, effective immediately. Chief Financial Officer John Mulligan was appointed as interim president and CEO. The company commented that "Now is the right time for new leadership at Target." Steinhafel will serve in advisory capacity during this transition. Roxanne Austin was appointed as non-interim chairman of the board. Rumored CEO candidates are said to include: HSN Inc. (HSNI) CEO Mindy Grossman, Bon-Ton Stores (BONT) CEO Brendan Hoffman, Gap's (GPS) leader Glenn Murphy and Victoriaís Secret (LB) CEO Sharen Turney. Mulligan, who does not intend to become the company's permanent CEO, said the retailer is working fast to fix issues that persisted under the former CEO Gregg Steinhafel, and stressed the need for speed to improve sales and online operations. Also during the quarter, Target appointed Bob DeRodes as Chief Information Officer, responsible for oversight of the Target technology team and operations, with responsibility for the ongoing data security enhancement efforts as well as the development of Targetís long-term information technology and digital roadmap. Target also shared that there has been an active investigation since the initial confirmation of the data breach, and the company said it has taken significant actions to strengthen security across the network. Target said that beginning in early 2015, the entire REDcard portfolio, including all Target-branded credit and debit cards, will be enabled with MasterCardís (MA) chip-and-PIN solution. The company is continuing its active search for a chief information security officer and a chief compliance officer. Target and Visa (V) said fraud has been limited following the data breach. Target's credit rating cut to A from A+ by S&P in March. Most recently, Target named Mark Schindele as president of Target Canada, replacing Tony Fisher to further the company's efforts to improve its Canadian operations. The timing of this change is unrelated to the Q1 results, the company said. STREET RESEARCH: Sterne Agee wrote that Steinhafel's departure would be positive for the company over the longer term., but Baird said that the change could be viewed as setting Target on course for an eventual recovery, the move probably increases the uncertainty facing the company. Wells Fargo said that the CEO's resignation suggests that the company's financial performance has come under pressure recently, partly due to the credit card breach and its weak performance in Canada. However, in the longer-term the move could help the company by bringing someone with a new perspective to the position. PRICE ACTION: Target shares are up fractionally over the past three months. In mid-day trading ahead of tomorrow's earnings report, shares are down over 2% at $56.90.
News For TGT From The Last 14 Days
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November 20, 2014
07:25 EDTTGTTarget downgraded to Hold from Buy at Evercore ISI
Evercore ISI downgraded Target based on balanced risk/reward and notes competition is unlikely to abate. Price target remains $71.
November 19, 2014
17:38 EDTTGTTarget looks 'poised for more gains', Barron's says
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16:31 EDTTGTOn The Fly: Closing Wrap
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12:46 EDTTGTOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
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12:21 EDTTGTTarget CEO says 'not happy' with Target Canada performance
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11:08 EDTTGTTarget sees Q4 as 'notable infelction point'
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11:08 EDTTGTTarget says November sales so far running above plan, but still early in season
Says saw positive comps in all three months of quarter. Says saw strong start to back to school, back to college season. Says sales slowed entering October, but recovered at the end of the month. Says omnichanel, flexible fulfillment capabilities "key" to long-term success. Says smaller format stores present "exciting" opportunity for company. Says company must continue to find cost savings opportunities in years to come. Says traffic trend has improved in every quarter this year. Confident in plans for upcoming holiday season. Doesn't anticipate share repurchase in Q4. Says "feels good" about current U.S. inventory levels. Expects competitive environment to remain highly promotional this holiday season. Sees Q4 gross margin improving y/y. Says November sales so far running above plan, but still early in season. Sees Q4 U.S. SSS up about 2%. Comments made on the Q3 earnings conference call. Target shares are up 5.64% to $71.38 in morning trading.
09:16 EDTTGTOn The Fly: Pre-market Movers
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08:03 EDTTGTTarget sees FY14 adjusted EPS $3.15-$3.25, consensus $3.19
Full-year 2014 GAAP EPS is expected to be (45) cents below Adjusted EPS, reflecting: Pre-tax early debt retirement losses, recognized in interest expense, of $285 million, or (27) cents per share; Year-to-date net pre-tax data breach expenses of $140 million, or (14) cents per share; Pre-tax impairment losses of $31 million, or (3) cents per share; Pre-tax expense of $13 million, or (1) cent per share, related to Targetís decision to convert existing co-branded cards to MasterCard chip-enabled cards in 2015, and; A (5)-cent per share impact related to the expected reduction of the beneficial interest asset, partially offset by; A benefit of 5 cents per share from the favorable resolution of various income tax matters. GAAP EPS guidance does not include an estimate of future data breach-related expenses, which are not expected to be material in any individual period.
08:02 EDTTGTTarget sees Q4 adjusted EPS $1.13-$1.23, consensus $1.22
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08:02 EDTTGTTarget reports Q3 U.S. segment SSS up 1.2%
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08:00 EDTTGTTarget reports Q3 adjusted EPS 54c, consensus 47c
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November 18, 2014
15:41 EDTTGTTarget November 67.5 straddle priced for 3.8% move into Q3
15:21 EDTTGTNotable companies reporting before tomorrow's open
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15:08 EDTTGTTarget technical comments ahead of results
The stock in the past three months has outperformed the broader averages, trading up over 14%. Most of that outperformance has been in recent days leading up to earnings. That move broke the shares out of a very narrow trading range that had persisted for two months. With the shares trading close to the 52-week high at $68.28, strong positive news or an upside surprise could propel the stock through that level and to the lifetime high at $73.50. A failure to break through the $70 area, particularly on a negative surprise, could leave the shares vulnerable to a larger than normal correction. On a long-term basis a failure at $70 would be a third attempt up that failed at resistance. Support levels to watch as potential downside objectives would be at $64.65, $61.46, and $59.57. The low of the range prior to the recent breakout was at $54.66, which is the 52-week low.
12:44 EDTTGTEarnings Preview: Target sees FY14 adjusted EPS view of $3.10-$3.30
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07:53 EDTTGTTarget November volatility elevated into Q3 and outlook
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November 17, 2014
14:21 EDTTGTEarnings Preview: Home Depot shares up over 17% since last earnings report
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07:42 EDTTGTTarget looks to put massive breach in rear-view one year later, WSJ says
Encouraging signs are appearing for Target as the company looks to put its massive data breach in the rear view mirror about one year later as it reports earnings this Wednesday, said The Wall Street Journal's "The Week Ahead" column. Target shares are near 2014 highs after analysts have recently reported a pickup in foot traffic at its stores, the article noted. Reference Link
November 14, 2014
07:44 EDTTGTTarget November volatility elevated at 29 into Q3 and outlook
Target November call option implied volatility is at 29, December is at 21, January is at 16; compared to its 26-week average of 19 according to Track Data, suggesting large near term price movement into the expected release of Q3 results on November 19.
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