Shares of Target
Not even close.
I first recommended the retail chain back in July, when I gave the stock a five-year outperform rating on my profile in Motley Fool CAPS. The company has passed many milestones since last year. And following today's upbeat earnings announcement, Target now expects greater full-year profits for fiscal 2012.
On the money
The retailer pulled in $697 million in the quarter, or $1.04 a share ahead of analysts' estimates of $1.01 a share, according to Reuters. Same-store sales were the highest they've been in more than six years, jumping 5.3% for the period ended April 28.
These results are particularly encouraging considering Target took a $55 million loss on costs tied to the retailer's entry into the Great White North in 2013. The Minneapolis-based company is on track to open 125 to 135 Target stores in Canada, with completion set for 2014.
Another growth strategy that's starting to pay off for the retailer is the addition of a fresh-food assortment. Target expanded into groceries behind rival Wal-Mart
Eye on the prize
Differentiated merchandise is also boosting Target's appeal. As other big-box retailers, including Wal-Mart and Best Buy
The retailer is stretching this concept to include designer devices, with its store-within-a-store format. Similar to the mini-Apple
If the stock fits ...
I think Target is a bulls-eye investment and one that every investor should consider as a core holding. The stock looks affordable, with shares trading at 13 times earnings. Target also pays an annual dividend of $1.20 on a 2.18% dividend yield. I already own Target stock and plan to continue building my position in this retail star going forward. If you're not ready to jump in, I highly encourage you to add Target to My Watchlist -- The Motley Fool's free tool that lets you track and monitor your favorite stocks. Get started today -- it's free.