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Target Opens Higher on Upgrade

Target is upgraded to buy on improving same-store sales, sending shares in the company higher immediately after the opening bell.

NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) --

Target

(TGT) - Get Target Corporation Report

was upgraded by Citi on Wednesday to buy as same-store sales trends improve, sending shares in the company higher immediately after the opening bell.

Citi lifted the discounter from sell and raised its price target to $61 to $44.

Target's increased focus in its food category has helped boost sales. Improved inventory levels in apparel and greater demand in home furnishing, a category that has been struggling over the past year, along with easier comparisons, could turn same-store sales positive next year.

Margins are also getting stronger from Target's private-label apparel.

Citi also cited better productivity such as improved labor scheduling, rigorous expense-line reviews, increased management accountability and in-store technology investments.

Target has been gearing up for the holiday season, lowering prices on key items like toys and books in an effort to compete with rivals like

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.

-- Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York

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