Doug Scovanner leaves Target on a fiesty note

  • Blog Post by:
  • February 23, 2012 - 2:27 PM

People sometimes can't resist  the urge to speak their minds before they retire. Target Corp. chief financial officer Doug Scovanner is no different.

Scovanner, who steps down next month, used his last earnings conference call Thursday to blast Wall Street analysts on how they calculate Target's stock value. (Scovanner, though, will stick around Target on part-time business until the retailer sells its credit card receivables portfolio.)

Scovanner takes offense that unnamed analysts essentially penalize Target stock (specifically its price/earnings ratio) because of the company's expansion into Canada. The retailer lost $122 million last year in Canada, a number that reflects startup costs and depreciation.

"I'll leave you with one final thought regarding our valuation," Scovanner said. "Many of you directly incorporate our near-term reported Canadian losses into a P/E analysis at Target. To be clear, this makes no sense to us."

Any valuation of Target should begin with the core U.S. business, which will generate $4.55 and $4.75 a share in 2012 and likely to grow 9 to 10 percent a year after that, he said.

Once the Canadian stores debut in 2013, the business should add "several dollars" more to Target's earnings per share, Scovanner said.

"Even if you elect to severely discount our view, it's impossible for us to understand why you would elect to subtract anything instead of adding something for the substantial profits in cash flow we'll generate in Canada beginning very soon," Scovanner said.

With that said, happy retirement Doug.


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