NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Target Corp. (TGT) closed higher by 0.71% to $82.14 on Monday afternoon, following reports that the retail giant is speeding up its timetable for its planned Canada exit one month ahead of schedule.
A court appointed monitor that is overseeing the closure of the Target Canada stores says all 133 locations will be completely shut down "as early as mid-April," the Financial Post reports.
So far 17 of Target's Canada stores have closed in March, another six locations closed today, 23 more are said to be closing on April 1 and 32 more on April 2.
"It is anticipated that the pace of delivery of vacate notices...will continue to increase over the next two weeks," the monitor wrote in an update filed with the court, Financial Post added.
"All stores are expected to be closed to the public as early as mid-April 2015," the monitor added.
In January Target announced that it was exiting its business in Canada as it struggled to turn a profit and dealt with substantial losses.
"After a thorough review of our Canadian performance and careful consideration of the implications of all options, we were unable to find a realistic scenario that would get Target Canada to profitability until at least 2021," Target CEO Brian Cornell said in a statement released in January.
Insight from TheStreet's Research Team:
Target is a core holding of Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio. During the most recent weekly roundup this is what Jim Cramer, Portfolio Manager and Jack Mohr, Director of Research - Action Alerts PLUS had to say about the stock:
The shares were flat this week on little news. Last week, the company announced that it is raising its minimum wage to $9 per hour starting next month in a move that is a clear response to recent increases at peers Wal-Mart (WMT) and T.J. Maxx (TJX). Target's move comes less than a month after Wal-Mart announced that it was giving half a million U.S. workers a raise, bringing its minimum hourly pay to $9 in 2015 and $10 next year, and several weeks after T.J. Maxx said it would do the exact same. Everyone in large-box retail is compelled to follow Wal-Mart's lead, and Target is no exception.
We believe the company is making the right move, and forecast the EPS impact to be minimal. Of course, we would need more information on the current number of employees (out of its 366,000 full- time, part-time and seasonal "team members") currently being paid minimum wage in order to make a more specific cost impact determination, but assuming it is a small portion (less than 1% of Wal-Mart's employees were being paid minimum wage), the cost effect should be under $10 million annually. If the number of minimum wage employees is high (10% or above) the cost impact would well exceed $50 million annually, but we believe the likelihood of this scenario is low. We will look to next quarter's conference call to hear more, unless management is willing to provide further information in the meantime. Target has more than enough room to raise wages amid its massive $2 billion cost saving program. We reiterate our strong bullish view on the stock. Our target is $90.
-Jim Cramer and Jack Mohr 'Weekly Roundup' Originally Published on 3/27/2015 on Action Alerts PLUS
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Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates TARGET CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of A-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate TARGET CORP (TGT) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, revenue growth, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."
You can view the full analysis from the report here: TGT Ratings Report