Target (TGT) to Post Q1 Earnings: What Factors are at Play? –

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Target Corp. (TGT Analyst Report) is slated to release first-quarter fiscal 2016 results on May 18. The big question facing investors is, whether this operator of general merchandise stores will be able to deliver a positive earnings surprise in the quarter to be reported. In the trailing four quarters, the company outperformed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by an average of 3.9%. Let’s see how things are shaping up for this announcement.

Zacks Model Shows Unlikely Earnings Beat

Our proven model does not conclusively show that Target is likely to beat earnings estimates this quarter. This is because a stock needs to have both a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1, 2 or 3 for this to happen. Target has an Earnings ESP of 0.00% as the Most Accurate estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate both stand at $1.20. The company carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), which increases the predictive power of ESP. However, the company’s ESP of 0.00% makes surprise prediction difficult.

Factors Influencing this Quarter

Target’s series of initiatives, such as the development of omni-channel capacities, diversification and localization of assortments, along with emphasis on smaller format stores, may help augment its performance in the quarter to be reported. The company plans to expand its merchandise assortments, with special focus on the well-performing categories like Style, Baby, Kids and Wellness. Moreover, management is keen on expanding the Food category. Target has also adopted an aggressive cost reduction strategy. However, the competitive retail landscape and lower discretionary spending may weigh upon its performance.

Stocks Poised to Beat Earnings Estimates

Here are some companies you may want to consider as our model shows that these have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat:

The Home Depot, Inc. (HD Analyst Report) has an Earnings ESP of +1.50% and a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (LOW Analyst Report) has an Earnings ESP of +2.38% and a Zacks Rank #2.

Best Buy Co., Inc. (BBY Analyst Report) has an Earnings ESP of +2.94% and a Zacks Rank #2.

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