Target Co. (NYSE:TGT) was the target of unusually large options trading on Wednesday. Stock investors acquired 13,826 put options on the stock. This represents an increase of 188% compared to the typical daily volume of 4,793 put options.

TGT has been the topic of several recent research reports. BidaskClub cut Target from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, June 20th. ValuEngine cut Target from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, June 2nd. Gordon Haskett initiated coverage on Target in a report on Tuesday, May 9th. They set a “sell” rating and a $47.00 target price on the stock. Vetr upgraded Target from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $61.86 target price on the stock in a report on Wednesday, May 10th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC restated a “hold” rating and set a $59.00 target price on shares of Target in a report on Tuesday, June 20th. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seventeen have issued a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $61.99.

In other news, insider Robert M. Harrison sold 2,639 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, July 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.05, for a total transaction of $137,359.95. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Insiders own 0.25% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Cheviot Value Management LLC increased its stake in Target by 1.5% in the second quarter. Cheviot Value Management LLC now owns 8,483 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $444,000 after buying an additional 126 shares during the period. OxFORD Asset Management LLP increased its stake in Target by 581.8% in the second quarter. OxFORD Asset Management LLP now owns 307,221 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $16,065,000 after buying an additional 262,163 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its stake in Target by 3.6% in the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 2,128,874 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $111,314,000 after buying an additional 73,165 shares during the period. Virtu KCG Holdings LLC increased its stake in Target by 25.0% in the second quarter. Virtu KCG Holdings LLC now owns 40,169 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $2,100,000 after buying an additional 8,033 shares during the period. Finally, Hancock Holding Co. purchased a new stake in Target during the second quarter valued at about $3,089,000. 82.63% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Target (TGT) opened at 55.65 on Friday. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $54.12 and a 200 day moving average of $56.47. The firm has a market cap of $30.70 billion, a P/E ratio of 11.40 and a beta of 0.61. Target has a 1-year low of $48.56 and a 1-year high of $79.33.

Target (NYSE:TGT) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, May 17th. The retailer reported $1.21 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.91 by $0.30. Target had a net margin of 4.23% and a return on equity of 24.72%. The firm had revenue of $16.02 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $15.63 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $1.29 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 1.1% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts expect that Target will post $4.39 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Sunday, September 10th. Investors of record on Wednesday, August 16th will be paid a dividend of $0.62 per share. This is an increase from Target’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.60. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, August 14th. This represents a $2.48 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.46%. Target’s payout ratio is 48.98%.

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Target Company Profile

Target Corporation (Target) is a general merchandise retailer selling products through its stores and digital channels. Its general merchandise stores offer an edited food assortment, including perishables, dry grocery, dairy and frozen items. Its digital channels include a range of general merchandise, including a range of items found in its stores, along with an assortment, such as additional sizes and colors sold only online.

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