If you have been following Target’s (TGT) comeback story in the past year or so, then its earnings record comes as no surprise: TGT now has topped earnings estimates six times in the past nine quarters and beaten revenue estimates seven times in the same period. What’s more, Target’s earnings outlook for the rest of the year got hiked, too.
And much of that can be attributed to the amazing job CEO Brian Cornell, who stepped into the chair last August. He has shut down money-losing operations in Canada, boosted online revenue significantly, reorganized the entire management chain to make it more nimble and begun to focus on groceries.
And he continues to reorganize upper management.
Cornell recently built a new COO position for his former CFO and moved a veteran with experience at pharmacy player Express Scripts — which will help as Target digests its CVS Health (CVS) pharmacy deal — and Walmart (WMT) into that spot.
This is a lot to accomplish in just a year in a company this size. And it’s even more impressive that the most of the changes he’s implemented have been very positive to Target earnings and revenues.
Why Target’s Future Is So Bright
At this point, analysts are building up their expectations on the quarterly numbers, so it will be increasingly hard to blow away expectations moving forward. Still, TGT managed to do so for yet another quarter, with profits of $1.22 per share beating Wall Street estimates by 11 cents.
Given WMT’s dismal report on Tuesday, this certainly puts TGT stock at the front of the pack when it comes to how to profit in big-box retailing. Everything Walmart is struggling with, Target is succeeding at. And it’s down to visionary leadership that can get it done on the store aisles that’s the difference.
The biggest thing TGT has going for it right now is Cornell’s batting average. And he continues to keep that energy of ideas flowing by hiring people that will continue to push this retail battleship to be as quick and responsive as a 30-meter racing boat.
AAPL rolled out iBeacon a couple of years ago but it didn’t get much adoption and was left in suspended animation until now. Having a major retailer like TGT revive it is pretty exciting.
Basically the technology operates from an app on an iPhone that allows a retailer (Target, in this case) to track how shoppers shop in its stores. It will also tell shoppers about deals as they pass by items in the store.
The goal is hopefully a win-win. For allowing the store to learn more about your shopping patterns, you will be rewarded with sale items.
AAPL doesn’t get much out of this up front, but it would help Apple build some muscle in this increasingly competitive space. It may also help build out the AAPL universe for its users by integrating iBeacon with other apps like Apple Pay.
For its current demographic, this might not be a game changer, but building in this kind of real-time retail information is going to extremely important moving forward, especially as Millenials become the generation of choice for the next wave in retailing.
While this project isn’t going to change the retail world, it’s yet another example of how TGT continues to look forward and actually move forward in retail space.
At this point, there is still plenty of opportunity in TGT.
Louis Navellier is a renowned growth investor. He is the editor of five investing newsletters: Blue Chip Growth, Emerging Growth, Ultimate Growth, Family Trust and Platinum Growth. His most popular service, Blue Chip Growth, has a track record of beating the market 3:1 over the last 14 years. He uses a combination of quantitative and fundamental analysis to identify market-beating stocks. Mr. Navellier has made his proven formula accessible to investors via his free, online stock rating tool, PortfolioGrader.com. Louis Navellier may hold some of the aforementioned securities in one or more of his newsletters.
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