Historically, tumultuous times offer some of the best opportunities to buy stocks, and the market's recent mess surely qualifies. Very few companies are able to make lemonade out of economic lemons, but many investors think low-cost retailer Target (NYSE:TGT) is positioned to thrive in good times and bad.

In our Motley Fool CAPS community, 90% of the 2,289 investors rating the company are bullish, so there's no shortage of reasons why Target will thrive, three of which I've highlighted below.

But here at the Fool, we're all about looking at both the good and the bad sides of an investment. Once you're done with this article, you can read the case against the stock, weigh in with your own comments below, or rate Target yourself in CAPS.

1. Improving results
While weaker competitor Sears Holdings (NASDAQ:SHLD) -- parent of Sears and Kmart stores -- ended up in the red in the third quarter, Target's lower costs and profitable credit card segment helped it boost third-quarter earnings by 18%, while improving sales in the quarter. It's looking at potential innovations with its Target Visa (NYSE:V) and other cards in its program to help drive better credit card performance, and some investors believe it will exit the holiday season with even higher market share.                               

2. New, innovative offerings
Many investors like Target's approach to drive in more customers and build its brand. It's beefing up its grocery offerings, expanding its "up & up" brand initiative, and experimenting with electronics programs like Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPod trade-ins. Similar to a move by Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), Target is experimenting with TV installations, something that once set Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) apart from discount retailers.    

3. Solace in consistency
Many CAPS members see Target as a top retail competitor that will continue to earn business from cost-conscious consumers seeking quality products. The company consistently generates positive free cash flow and, similar to companies like McDonald's (NYSE:MCD), has a strong track record of paying consecutive dividends to shareholders. Despite any short-term setbacks, many investors believe Target has the staying power to be a long-term winner.

To see details of what CAPS members are saying now about Target, just click on over to Motley Fool CAPS and have a look -- or add your own thoughts directly to this story in the comments box below.

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Fool contributor Dave Mock can think of at least three major inconsistencies in the whole Santa Claus story. He owns no shares of companies mentioned here. Apple and Best Buy are Stock Advisor recommendations. Best Buy, Sears Holdings, and Wal-Mart Stores are Inside Value recommendations. The Fool owns shares of Best Buy. The Fool's disclosure policy doesn't monitor your mail, despite dubious reports to the contrary.