TheStreet Ratings quantitative stock model maintains a Buy recommendation on Target (TGT) . Since the stock was upgraded to Buy from Hold on September 29, 2017, the shares have risen by as much as 51% in just under a year.

If you prefer exchange-traded funds to holding individual stocks, you may want to consider funds with a large percentage of holdings concentrated in Target stock. Three of the four exchange-traded funds with at least 2% concentration of Target shares are Buy rated including: Deep Value ETF (DVP) rated at B+ with 8.4%, Pacer US Cash Cows 100 (COWZ) rated at A+ with 2.2%, and ProShares S&P 500 Div Aristocrats (NOBL) rated at B with 2.1%.

Recently, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author. TheStreet Ratings has this to say about the recommendation:

We rate TARGET CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of B. This is driven by several positive factors, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, revenue growth, notable return on equity, growth in earnings per share and attractive valuation levels. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings goes as follows:

  • Investors have apparently begun to recognize positive factors similar to those we have mentioned in this report, including earnings growth. This has helped drive up the company's shares by a sharp 45.74% over the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 Index. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, TGT should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 4.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 3.4%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. When compared to other companies in the Multiline Retail industry and the overall market, TARGET CORP's return on equity exceeds that of the industry average and significantly exceeds that of the S&P 500.
  • TARGET CORP has improved earnings per share by 9.9% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. However, we anticipate underperformance relative to this pattern in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, TARGET CORP increased its bottom line by earning $5.32 versus $4.61 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 0.4% in earnings ($5.30 versus $5.32).
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: TGT
-- Reported by Kevin Baker in Palm Beach Gardens, FL

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of Jim Cramer, TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors.

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