Earnings Preview: Target

Feb.22.12 | About: Target Corporation (TGT)

Target (NYSE:TGT) is expected to report Q4 earnings before the open on Thursday, February 23, with a conference call scheduled for 10:30 am ET.

Guidance

Analysts are looking for EPS of $1.40 on revenue of $21.2B. The consensus range is $1.35-$1.43 for EPS, and revenue of $20.94B-$21.31B, according to First Call. In early January, the company cut its Q4 EPS view to $1.35-$1.43, from $1.43-$1.53, citing weak holiday sales. However, since that time, Target has reported January same store sales were up 4.3%. Investors will be eager for any new information regarding Target's credit card receivables portfolio, after the company decided last month to suspend its effort to divest the asset, with plans to renew talks with potential partners later in 2012.

Analyst Views

At that time Deutsche Bank commented that the halted sale was a negative event. Other analysts have been positive on the stock during the quarter, with Standpoint Research initiating it with a Buy rating and $60 price target on January 12, the same day the company announced a $5B share repurchase plan. A week prior, Bernstein called Target's valuation attractive, repeating its Outperform rating and a similar $60 target.