Headlines Galore for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Target Corporation

Why Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT) and Target Corporation (TGT) could run higher

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Feb 12, 2015 at 10:27 AM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

Big-box retail rivals Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) and Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) have been dominating the headlines in recent session. The biggest news came down the pike yesterday, when the former announced it will invest nearly $270 million to expand in Canada. This development takes on added significance in the wake of TGT's decision to pull out of the country.

While the WMT story above is newsworthy, it remains considerably less interesting than this story about a fight inside of a La Porte, Texas, location. Apparently, a customer didn't like the way a tax worker had treated her, so she proceeded to head-butt said worker, and the melee ensued.

Meanwhile, WMT has been fighting its way up the charts (pun intended), advancing 13.5% year-over-year to trade at $85.57. Should this trend continue, the shares could get a boost from a round of analyst upgrades and/or price-target hikes. Seventy percent of analysts following WMT rate the stock a "hold" or worse, while its consensus 12-month price target of $84.27 stands at a discount to the stock's current price.

Moving along, TGT quietly killed off its streaming-video service, "Target Ticket," less than two years after it launched. This is likely a disappointment to the service's three subscribers.

Elsewhere, TGT agreed to shell out roughly $4 million to settle a false-advertising lawsuit in Northern California. A spokesperson for the retailer blamed the legal troubles on delays in the removal of promotional signage.

Technically speaking, Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) has had a strong year, tacking on more than 34% in the last 12 months to trade at $76.23. As with Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT), this technical tenacity could pave the way for upwardly revised ratings and/or price targets. Fourteen out of 19 analysts tracking TGT have designated it a "sell" or worse, and its average 12-month price target of $74.17 is below the stock's current perch.

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