• By Paul Ausick June 8

Target Boosts Dividend 7%



Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) announced Wednesday morning that its board has raised the retailer’s quarterly dividend by 7.1%, from $0.56 to $0.60. The new dividend is payable September 10, 2016, to shareholders of record on August 17.

Target’s stock has traded down about 6% this year as of Tuesday’s close and are down more than 14% over the trailing 12 months. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT), Target’s nemesis, has added about 3.5% to date in 2016 even though shares lag by a little more than 2% for the past year.

Analysts have pegged Target’s forward price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio at 12.05 for the fiscal year ending in January 2018, and the consensus price target on the stock is $77.47, about $9 above where the stock traded Wednesday morning. Based on Tuesday’s closing price of $68.24, the potential gain on the share price is around 13.5%. Using a similar calculation, Wal-Mart stock, which traded at $71.27 Wednesday morning and has a price target of $69.11, is overbought.

The company posted a revenue decline of more than 5% in its first fiscal quarter of 2016 and that took shares down 7% in one trading session. The stock has basically flat-lined at that level for three weeks. Maybe boosting the dividend will give shares a shot in the arm.

Target’s dividend yield of 3.26% already outpaces Wal-Mart’s 2.81% yield. At the most recent closing price, Target’s increased dividend yields 3.52%.

The company’s stock traded up about 0.4% at the noon hour Wednesday, at $68.51 in a 52-week range of $65.50 to $85.81.

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