Walmart, Target Higher; Analysts Like Earnings Prospects

Jefferies and Cowen both like Walmart, and Cowen likes Target even better. Both retailers' shares were higher in recent trading.
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Walmart  (WMT) - Get Report received positive analyst commentary from Jefferies and Cowen Friday in the runup to its May 18 first-quarter earnings report.

Cowen’s Oliver Chen was even more enthusiastic about Walmart’s competitor Target  (TGT) - Get Report, which is scheduled to report results May 19.

Shares of Walmart, Bentonville, Ark., recently traded at $139.70, up 1.1%, in line with the broad market Friday. It has eased 7% over the past six months.

Target recently traded at $211.44, up 1.4%. The Minneapolis retailer has jumped 30% over the past six months.

As for the analysts, Jefferies’ Stephanie Wissink has a buy rating on Walmart, with a $180 price target.

“We expect WMT to report solid Q1 results,” she wrote in a commentary. “Our alt[ernative] data index signals comp upside, bolstered late-quarter additional stimulus. … We expect the transformational phase to advance into a realized value period starting later this year.”

Cowen’s Chen said that “heading into 1Q EPS, Cowen models comp and EPS upside at both TGT and WMT, but prefers TGT, given a higher likelihood for a more pronounced beat, opportunity to maintain momentum and lock-in share gains, and investor sentiment,” he wrote

Chen rates both stocks outperform, with price targets of $170 for Walmart and $230 for Target.

On Monday, TheStreet.com Founder Jim Cramer discussed Walmart and Amazon AMZN, saying he likes them both.

In February, Target said it would double Apple's AAPL footprint in select stores.

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