How about this data? Target's stock price hits a record high


A year ago the outlook was not exactly rosy for a certain Minneapolis-based retailer with stores all decked in red.

What a difference that year has made, though, for a company whose stock price is now back on Target.

When Target's share price reached a new high by coming within a penny of $76 Monday morning, it was 38 percent above its low-water mark for 2014, the Star Tribune reports.

Not bad for a company that spent the year managing fallout from a huge customer data breach, as well as a money-losing Canadian expansion and lagging U.S. sales.

A new CEO, a return to pre-breach traffic in stores, and a promising holiday shopping season including record online sales have all contributed to investors' newly bullish attitude toward Target, the newspaper says.

Business Insider says Target is "on fire." They asked an Edward Jones analyst to explain why. His top reason: this summer's arrival of Brian Cornell – the former Pepsi exec who became the first Target CEO to be hired from outside the company.

The Star Tribune notes that Wolfe Research recently labeled Target a "must-own equity" and wrote that Cornell has sketched out a good plan for a strong brand.

Target's third quarter earnings beat expectations and included the first same-store increase in sales in more than a year.

Edward Jones' Brian Yarbrough tells Business Insider he's optimistic Target Canada will close underperforming stores and/or change strategies to drive profits north of the border.

At GuruFocus, investment analyst Faisal Humayun is bullish on Target for at least the next few months, largely because the expanding U.S. economy (with unemployment and gas prices both sinking) has consumers ready to spend more.

Of course, no one's promising Target a rose garden. The Star Tribune points out there is still stiff competition from online retailers and an industry-wide decline in shopping at stores.

And a judge recently allowed two lawsuits over the data breach – one filed by banks, the other by consumers – to move ahead.

Target plans to release its fourth quarter earnings in February.

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