Analyst lowers Target rating on soft holiday sales


Citing a disappointing holiday season, an analyst at Jefferies downgraded Target Corp. to "hold" from "buy" on Wednesday, the Associated Press reports. Jefferies also slashed its price target on Target from $74 to $59. The AP notes retailers will report their December sales on Thursday.

Fox Business reports J.P. Morgan Chase trimmed its price target on the stock to $74 from $76, but kept an “overweight” rating.

Jefferies analyst Daniel Binder wrote, "While we had high hopes for Target this season, we believe the company continued to struggle in a few areas, including poor online execution, soft December sales, poor results with the Neiman Marcus merchandising initiative, increased price competition (greater price matching) and more markdowns," the Business Journal reports.

The Minneapolis-based retailer slashed prices on most of the limited-edition holiday collection by 50 percent just days before Christmas.

Target also reported weak November sales at stores open at least a year.

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