Target Co. (TGT) Short Interest Down 7.6% in January

Target Co. (NYSE:TGT) was the recipient of a significant drop in short interest in January. As of January 31st, there was short interest totalling 43,445,381 shares, a drop of 7.6% from the January 12th total of 47,008,366 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 6,886,542 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 6.3 days. Approximately 8.0% of the shares of the stock are short sold.

In related news, Director Roxanne S. Austin sold 4,705 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $62.61, for a total value of $294,580.05. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider Robert M. Harrison sold 8,557 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, January 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $76.74, for a total transaction of $656,664.18. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 13,288 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,019,721.12. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 16,262 shares of company stock valued at $1,185,484. Company insiders own 0.20% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of TGT. American Century Companies Inc. raised its stake in shares of Target by 45.1% during the third quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 5,238,106 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $309,101,000 after acquiring an additional 1,629,222 shares in the last quarter. Miller Howard Investments Inc. NY bought a new stake in shares of Target during the third quarter valued at approximately $65,948,000. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its stake in shares of Target by 49.7% during the third quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 3,186,874 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $188,052,000 after acquiring an additional 1,058,000 shares in the last quarter. Hamlin Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in Target during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $60,860,000. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its holdings in Target by 9.4% during the fourth quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 10,654,835 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $695,229,000 after buying an additional 916,178 shares during the period. 87.85% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of Target (NYSE:TGT) opened at $73.88 on Wednesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.01, a quick ratio of 0.27 and a current ratio of 0.96. Target has a 12 month low of $48.56 and a 12 month high of $78.70. The firm has a market cap of $40,160.00, a P/E ratio of 15.52, a PEG ratio of 3.42 and a beta of 0.75.

Target (NYSE:TGT) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 15th. The retailer reported $0.91 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.86 by $0.05. Target had a net margin of 3.80% and a return on equity of 24.09%. The firm had revenue of $16.67 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $16.61 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $1.04 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 1.4% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts expect that Target will post 4.72 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Saturday, March 10th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, February 21st will be paid a dividend of $0.62 per share. This represents a $2.48 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.36%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, February 20th. Target’s dividend payout ratio is presently 52.10%.

TGT has been the subject of a number of analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Target from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $88.00 price target for the company in a report on Saturday, January 20th. Robert W. Baird reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $70.00 price target on shares of Target in a report on Wednesday, January 3rd. MKM Partners set a $77.00 price target on shares of Target and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, December 14th. Morgan Stanley lowered their price target on shares of Target from $52.00 to $50.00 and set an “underweight” rating for the company in a report on Thursday, November 16th. Finally, Telsey Advisory Group reaffirmed a “market perform” rating and issued a $75.00 price target (up previously from $65.00) on shares of Target in a report on Wednesday, January 10th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have issued a hold rating, seven have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Target has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $67.64.

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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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