What analysts are saying: Target takes a pounding

  • Updated: August 9, 2014 - 2:00 PM

target takes a pounding

Target Corp., which gets a new CEO this week, delivered a distinctly downbeat financial report Wednesday, saying second-quarter profit trailed its forecast amid weak U.S. sales while its Canadian operations continued to struggle.

The retailer on July 31 named PepsiCo Inc. executive Brian Cornell to replace Gregg Steinhafel, who was ousted amid the turmoil, which also included a massive data breach discovered in the midst of the 2013 holiday sales season.

Target has been “giving away stuff below margin or at a lower margin to drive traffic,” Poonam Goyal, a senior retail analyst for Bloomberg Intelligence, said last week. “It’s driven by promotions, which can’t last forever. They need to bring back traffic that will stay beyond promotions.”

Target reports full second-quarter results on Aug. 20. Cornell, who will become the first outsider to lead Target, takes the helm on Tuesday.

Medtronic device OK hits St. Jude

Medtronic got good news from the FDA, which has approved the med tech giant’s advanced “quadripolar lead,’’ a new device aimed at improving cardiac resynchronization therapy or CRT.

But news of the approval took Wall Street and competitor St. Jude Medical by surprise Thursday. The Medtronic device was not expected to be available until late this year or early 2015, wrote Bernstein analyst Derrick Sung in a note. Instead, Medtronic said the device will be “broadly available to physicians in mid-September.’’

St. Jude shares fell 2.3 percent on that news to $63.44, their lowest since late May. Sung called Medtronic’s technology “the next significant market share mover’’ in the United States.

JOHN J. OSLUND

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