NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Target (TGT) - Get Report stock is climbing by 1.06% to $77.12 in late morning trading on Friday, after the company announced that it will provide free shipping for online orders this holiday season and is launching an international version of its website.
For a second straight year, the retailer will offer free shipping and returns for the holidays, from November 1 to December 25, as it diverges from competitor Wal-Mart's (WMT) strategy to require a minimum purchase, of $50, to qualify for free shipping.
Target has invested $1 billion in updating its e-commerce platform and supply chain this year, and 100 additional stores will be used to ship products than were used last year, CNBC.com reports.
Additionally, Target launched an international version of its website for shoppers in upwards of 200 countries and territories, according to a statement. Shipping is now available in countries such as China, India, Canada, Mexico and European Union member countries.
Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates TARGET CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
We rate TARGET CORP (TGT) a BUY. This is driven by a few notable strengths, 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, impressive record of earnings per share growth, increase in net income, revenue growth and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.
Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:
- Powered by its strong earnings growth of 98.36% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 25.72% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Turning to the future, naturally, any stock can fall in a major bear market. However, in almost any other environment, the stock should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed nice gains in the past year.
- TARGET CORP reported significant earnings per share improvement 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 year. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, TARGET CORP increased its bottom line by earning $3.82 versus $3.07 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($4.72 versus $3.82).
- The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Multiline Retail industry. The net income increased by 220.4% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $235.00 million to $753.00 million.
- Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 7.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 2.8%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
- The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.91, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels.
- You can view the full analysis from the report here: TGT