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Can Target (TGT) Run Higher on Rising Earnings Estimates?

Target (TGT) could be a solid choice for investors given the company's remarkably improving earnings outlook. While the stock has been a strong performer lately, this trend might continue since analysts are still raising their earnings estimates for the company.

The rising trend in estimate revisions, which is a result of growing analyst optimism on the earnings prospects of this retailer, should get reflected in its stock price. After all, empirical research shows a strong correlation between trends in earnings estimate revisions and near-term stock price movements. This insight is at the core of our stock rating tool -- the Zacks Rank.

The five-grade Zacks Rank system, which ranges from a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) to a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell), has an impressive externally-audited track record of outperformance, with Zacks #1 Ranked stocks generating an average annual return of +25% since 2008.

For Target, strong agreement among the covering analysts in revising earnings estimates upward has resulted in meaningful improvement in consensus estimates for the next quarter and full year.

The chart below shows the evolution of forward 12-month Zacks Consensus EPS estimate:

12 Month EPS

Current-Quarter Estimate Revisions

For the current quarter, the company is expected to earn $1.50 per share, which is a change of +10.29% from the year-ago reported number.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Target has increased 18.96% over the last 30 days, as nine estimates have gone higher compared to no negative revisions.

Current-Year Estimate Revisions

The company is expected to earn $7.15 per share for the full year, which represents a change of +11.89% from the prior-year number.

There has been an encouraging trend in estimate revisions for the current year as well. Over the past month, 12 estimates have moved up for Target versus no negative revisions. This has pushed the consensus estimate 44.34% higher.

Favorable Zacks Rank

Thanks to promising estimate revisions, Target currently carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). The Zacks Rank is a tried-and-tested rating tool that helps investors effectively harness the power of earnings estimate revisions and make the right investment decision. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Our research shows that stocks with Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and 2 (Buy) significantly outperform the S&P 500.

Bottom Line

While strong estimate revisions for Target have attracted decent investments and pushed the stock 24.9% higher over the past four weeks, further upside may still be left in the stock. So, you may consider adding it to your portfolio right away.
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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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Zacks is the leading investment research firm focusing on stock research, analysis and recommendations. In 1978, our founder discovered the power of earnings estimate revisions to enable profitable investment decisions. Today, that discovery is still the heart of the Zacks Rank. A wealth of resources for individual investors is available at www.zacks.com.

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