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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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September 3, 2015
09:43 EDTTGTFly Watch: 'Force Friday' seen awakening shares of Disney, Hasbro
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September 1, 2015
18:01 EDTTGTTarget to serve alcohol in Chicago store, Fortune says
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11:45 EDTTGTTarget cuts nearly 240 tech-related jobs in Twin Cities, Star Tribune says
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August 25, 2015
16:01 EDTTGTTarget sees $550M pretax gain after closing CVS transaction
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August 24, 2015
15:01 EDTTGTWyndham slips after FTC given go-ahead for data breach lawsuit
Shares of Wyndham (WYN) have slipped in afternoon trading after an appeals court ruled that the FTC can sue the company over its allegedly poor cybersecurity practices. WHAT'S NEW: According to a Reuters report of court proceedings, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia has ruled that the FTC may proceed with its lawsuit against Wyndham over data breaches in 2008 and 2009, saying the hotel company failed to take reasonable steps to protect customer information. Wyndham's allegedly lackluster data protection policies constitute "unfair and deceptive trade practices," granting the Federal Trade Commission authority to step in, said Judge Thomas Ambro. FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez commented, "It is not only appropriate, but critical, that the FTC has the ability to take action on behalf of consumers when companies fail to take reasonable steps to secure sensitive consumer information," according to the report. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Today's ruling comes in the wake of numerous high-profile "hack attacks," with American Airlines (AAL), Anthem (ANTM), United Airlines (UAL) and Target (TGT) all reporting digital security breaches in recent years. Though no final verdict has been reached in the case between the FTC and Wyndham, Judge Ambro may have established the beginnings of a legal precedent potentially allowing the Commission to sue companies for not going far enough to protect consumer data and Chairwoman Ramirez appeared to share that broader tone. PRICE ACTION: Shares of Wyndham are down about 4% in intraday trading. Cybersecurity firms FireEye (FEYE) and Palo Alto Networks (PANW) are down roughly 2% and 2.7% for the afternoon.
13:17 EDTTGTTarget to pay $2.8M to resolve EEOC discrimination finding
Target has agreed to pay $2.8M to resolve a Commissioner's charge of discrimination which was investigated in the Minneapolis Area Office of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC. Based on the investigation, EEOC found reasonable cause to believe that three employment assessments formerly used by Target disproportionately screened out applicants for exempt-level professional positions based on race and sex. The tests were not sufficiently job-related and consistent with business necessity, and thus violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, EEOC found. In addition, EEOC found that one of the assessments Target formerly used in its hiring process also violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. The EEOC determined that this particular assessment performed by psychologists on behalf of Target was a pre-employment medical examination. Employers are prohibited by the ADA from subjecting applicants to medical examinations prior to an offer of employment. EEOC found that Target also committed record-keeping violations by failing to maintain records sufficient to assess the impact of its hiring procedures. EEOC's investigation revealed that thousands were adversely affected when Target used these assessments in its hiring process. The monetary settlement will be divided among these individuals as appropriate. Target will pay for a claims administrator to distribute the funds.

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