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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 Victoria’s 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 Target’s 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 MasterCard’s (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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August 25, 2014
06:19 EDTTGTU.S. DHS warns of 'Backoff' malware, WSJ reports
The Department of Homeland Security is urging all companies to check for a "Backoff" malware infection, which targets cash registers, and said over 1,000 businesses in the U.S. have been affected by the cyberattack, the Wall Street Journal reports. The DHS said Friday that the malware has likely infected many victims who "aren't aware" that they have been compromised. Reference Link
August 24, 2014
21:53 EDTTGTNational Association of Chain Drug Stores to hold an expo
2014 NACDS Total Store Expo to be held in Boston on August 23-25.
August 21, 2014
07:24 EDTTGTTarget margins likely to remain under significant pressure, says MKM Partners
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07:08 EDTTGTTarget shares attractive, says Wells Fargo
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August 20, 2014
12:37 EDTTGTOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
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11:11 EDTTGTTarget sees Q3 EBITDA to benefit from expense optimization, Q3 SSS flat to up 1%
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08:04 EDTTGTTarget reports Q2 U.S. segment SSS flat
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08:03 EDTTGTTarget cuts FY14 adjusted EPS view to $3.10-$3.30 from $3.60-$3.90
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08:02 EDTTGTTarget sees Q3 adjusted EPS 40c-50c, consensus 65c
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08:01 EDTTGTTarget says better U.S. sales have continued into August
"While results from the quarter didn’t meet our expectations, we are seeing some early signs of progress as we work to improve results in the U.S. and Canada,” said John Mulligan, executive vice president and CFO of Target Corporation. “In the U.S., traffic trends continue to recover and monthly sales are improving, with July comparable sales up more than 1 percent. Better U.S. sales have continued into August, driven by early back-to-school results. In Canada, the team is making important changes to operations and the merchandise assortment with a focus on delivering improved results by this holiday season.”
08:01 EDTTGTTarget reports Q2 adjusted EPS 78c, consensus 79c
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August 19, 2014
15:16 EDTTGTNotable companies reporting before tomorrow's open
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14:42 EDTTGTTarget August weekly 59.5 straddle priced for 2.4% move into Q2
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13:04 EDTTGTTarget technical comments before earnings
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13:00 EDTTGTEarnings Preview: Target cuts Q2 EPS view to reflect flat U.S. segment SSS
Target (TGT) is scheduled to report second quarter results before the market open on Wednesday, August 20, 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 79c on revenue of $17.38B, according to First Call. The consensus range for EPS is 78c-91c on revenue of $17.28B-$17.5B. LAST QUARTER: Target reported first quarter adjusted EPS of 70c on revenue of $17.05B, against estimates for 71c and $17.01B, respectively. U.S. comparable sales decreased 0.3% in Q1, near the high end of the expected range. Target was unable to estimate future expenses related to the data breach that occurred in the fourth quarter of 2013, but said costs may have a "material adverse effect" on Q2 and FY14 results. NEWS: In July, Target named Brian Cornell as chairman and Chief Executive Officer, effective August 12. Cornell most recently served as the CEO of PepsiCo (PEP) Americas Foods. Chief Financial Officer and former interim CEO John Mulligan previously told CNBC that he would be "happy" transitioning back to CFO role. The company cut its Q2 adjusted EPS guidance to "within a range around 78c" from 85c-$1.00, which excluded approximately 2c related to the expected reduction of its beneficial interest asset, as well as any net expenses related to the data breach. The updated guidance reflects U.S. Segment essentially flat comparable sales with lower-than-expected EBITDA margin driven by promotional markdowns, as guests continue to spend cautiously and focus on value in the current environment, and Canadian segment's somewhat softer-than-expected sales combined with the impact of continued investments to clear excess inventory. The Q2 results are also expected to include gross expenses of $148M related to the December 2013 data breach. Mulligan commented that the environment in both the U.S. and Canada "continues to be challenging, and results aren’t yet where they need to be," but noted that the retailer is making progress in efforts to drive U.S. sales and traffic and improve Canadian operations. Target plans to extend the hours at over 50% of its U.S. locations in an effort to increase the number of customers who shop later in the day, according to the Wall Street Journal, citing a spokesperson. STREET RESEARCH: Goldman downgraded Target to Neutral from Buy and cut its price target to $59 from $65 to reflect estimate cuts following the Q2 pre-announcement, lack of catalysts, and e-commerce devaluation of general merchandise retailers. Baird thinks that Target may see better results later in 2014 and could restart its share buybacks at some point in the second half of the year, but sees stiff competition in Target's space. Wells Fargo wrote that the costs related to the data breach are on track to come in well below the $1B that some had initially feared. PRICE ACTION: Target shares are up almost 2% over the past three months. In intra-day trading ahead of tomorrow's earnings report, shares are up more than 1% to $59.35.
07:07 EDTTGTTarget weekly volatility increases into Q2 and outlook
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August 18, 2014
11:05 EDTTGTOptions with increasing implied volatility
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07:21 EDTTGTTarget extends stores hours in effort to up later business, WSJ says
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August 15, 2014
11:20 EDTTGTOptions with increasing implied volatility
Options with increasing implied volatility: CRM URBN TGT
07:38 EDTTGTTarget weekly volatility elevated into Q2 and new leadership outlook
Target August weekly call option implied volatility is at 29, September is at 19, January is at 20; compared to its 26-week average of 18 according to Track Data, suggesting large near term price movement into the expected release of Q2 results on August 20.
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