Is Target Well-Positioned for the Future?

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With shares of Target (NYSE:TGT) trading around $60, is TGT an OUTPERFORM, WAIT AND SEE, or STAY AWAY? Let’s analyze the stock with the relevant sections of our CHEAT SHEET investing framework:

T = Trends for a Stock’s Movement

Target operates general stores in the United States as well as online where it sells merchandise at discounted prices. It operates in three segments: U.S. Retail, U.S. Credit Card, and Canadian. Target’s online presence is designed to enable consumers to purchase products either online or by locating items in one of its stores with the aid of online research and location tools. Groceries, clothing, household items, and general merchandise can be found at Target, making it an efficient shopping experience for consumers throughout the nation.

The fallout from Target’s data breach is far from over. The retailer’s chief information officer, Beth Jacob, is stepping down, the company said Wednesday, marking the first high-level departure since the December data theft that affected up to 110 million customers. Jacob’s resignation is one of the first steps in Target’s overhaul of its security structure. The retailer is working with D.C.-based consulting firm Promontory Financial Group to evaluate its security processes, technology and talent, it said. The company is upgrading its store cards and payment systems to the more secure smart card technology, commonly known as “chip and PIN.”

Last week, Target said the data breach had pulled down its fourth-quarter profit by 46 percent. The attack had already cost it $17 million, the company said, but experts say the final tally will be much bigger. “To ensure that Target is well-positioned following the data breach we suffered last year, we are undertaking an overhaul of our information security and compliance structure and practices at Target,” Target chief executive Gregg Steinhafel said in a statement provided to the Washington Post.

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