Can a company that generates $56 billion in annual sales, as Target
Target certainly has momentum. In the latest quarter alone, sales grew by 11.2% overall, while same-store sales rose by 4.6%. Net profit rose 16.3% over the same period. Both statistics speak well for the future of the retailer.
So, too, does cash flow: Target produced $608 million in free cash flow over the trailing 12 months. It'll have to keep that pace or better in order to meet Retail Forward's projections, which are based on the assumption that Target will add approximately 500 new stores over the next four years, including international expansion.
That's a bold prediction, given the amount of competition in the market. I'm not just talking about Wal-Mart
Meanwhile, grocery chains such as Kroger
Then there's that 14% figure. It doesn't sound like that much, especially with sales accelerating as they have, but in reality, it's a huge hurdle. Since 1992, which is as far back as we have data for Target, the retailer has never grown year-over-year sales by 14%. Not once.
So I wouldn't bet on Target reaching $95 billion by 2010. But I'd be plenty happy to bet on Target over Wal-Mart as an investor. Why? Capital IQ says that, compared to their projected growth prospects, Target and Wal-Mart are equally valued. Color me crazy, but when valuations are equal, I'll take the greater growth every time -- even if $95 billion by 2010 appears to be a pipe dream.
Related Foolishness in aisle one:
- Whose side are you on in this Fool Fight?
- Watch Target hit its old target.
(NYSE:COH)had marked Target briefly.
Wal-Mart is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. Discover all of chief advisor Philip Durell's best picks, which collectively are beating the market by more than six percentage points as of this writing, with a free 30-day trial subscription .
Fool contributor Tim Beyers , ranked 1,099 out of 15,079 in Motley Fool CAPS , rarely shops at Target. But he shops at Wal-Mart even less. Tim didn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story at the time of publication. Get the skinny on all of the stocks in his portfolio by checking Tim's Fool profile . The Motley Fool's disclosure policy is always on target.