|Bid||102.10 x 1200|
|Ask||102.17 x 800|
|Day's range||101.51 - 103.94|
|52-week range||70.03 - 130.24|
|Beta (5Y monthly)||0.65|
|PE ratio (TTM)||16.11|
|Earnings date||19 May 2020 - 24 May 2020|
|Forward dividend & yield||2.64 (2.52%)|
|Ex-dividend date||18 May 2020|
|1y target est||123.97|
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(Bloomberg Opinion) -- As fashion retailers shutter their storefronts across Europe and North America due to the coronavirus, some of the world's most vulnerable workers are feeling the pain — and getting shafted.In Bangladesh, garment factories have already furloughed more than 1 million workers thanks to at least $3 billion in canceled and postponed orders. Elsewhere in Southeast Asia, a key hub for apparel production, the toll is multiplying as quickly as the virus is spreading. If left unaddressed, the crisis could endanger the lives and livelihoods of millions more of the region’s workers.For decades, the apparel industry has had something of a devil’s bargain in Southeast Asia. Western companies have accepted the reputational risk that comes with capitalizing on the region’s low-wage labor, while local governments have tolerated poor factory conditions in return for jobs and growth. In some respects, the benefits have been undeniable: Last year, Bangladesh's apparel industry generated $35 billion in revenue, accounting for 80% of all export earnings, and employed 4.4 million people.In 2013, however, the human costs of this bargain became plain when Rana Plaza, a complex of garment factories near Dhaka, collapsed and killed at least 1,132 workers. The retailers and brands that had outsourced their production to the region looked for ways to prevent a recurrence while ensuring that outsourcing — and Bangladesh's most important export — could be sustained.The next year, they hit on a solution: independent monitoring and inspection organizations, empowered for five-year terms, with buy-in from government and local businesses. Over the next few years, these watchdogs inspected thousands of factories, shut down those that were in violation of safety standards, and pushed often expensive improvements — everything from installing fire alarms to improving building foundations — on others.Even under ideal conditions, however, this solution was only provisional. Earlier this month, the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee released a report documenting backsliding on labor rights in Bangladesh and elsewhere. But the disruption caused by the new coronavirus could prove to be a tipping point.So far, it’s come in two waves.The first started in February. China supplies the overwhelming majority of raw materials for Southeast Asia's garment makers (60% in the case of Vietnam). As Chinese textile producers shuttered, manufacturers in neighboring countries seized up. In Cambodia, the government recently predicted that 200 garment factories, employing 160,000 workers, could soon face raw-material shortages. Already, 10,000 Cambodian workers have been laid off, and some factory owners are reportedly taking advantage of the crisis to push out unionized employees. Safety standards will likely follow them out the factory doors.The second wave of trouble is just starting. In recent weeks, companies including Irish retailer Primark Ltd., Britain's Marks & Spencer Group Plc and Minneapolis-based Target Corp. have canceled, postponed or declared force majeure on orders for which their Southeast Asian partners have already purchased raw materials, and in some cases even completed work.The situation is so serious that Cambodia and India have made direct appeals to global brands to avoid cancellations and work out payment plans. Few are responding. According to a survey of Bangladesh’s garment factories conducted in March, nearly half had lost "a big share" of their orders. Nearly all buyers, most of whom are located in Europe, have refused to contribute to wages for furloughed workers.In the short term, such steps might help apparel companies weather a downturn. But the last decade should’ve taught them that — at least in the eyes of their customers — they have a deeper responsibility to the workers who manufacture their merchandise. A 2018 survey of consumers in seven countries found that nearly three-quarters of them believed that clothing companies should be held responsible for what happens in their factories and should transparently disclose working conditions. The danger is that the coronavirus gives factory owners and governments an excuse to roll back expensive safety programs and ignore hard-earned progress on wages and working conditions.There’s no easy fix when pain is being shared across an industry — not to mention across the world. But all parties would benefit if retailers and brands committed to a shared responsibility for paying garment workers for completed work, and contributed to a reasonable severance during the inevitable virus-driven slump. On Monday, Swedish fast-fashion giant H&M announced it would take delivery of goods (including those in production), and pay for them. Other brands should follow suit. Doing so will help long-time manufacturing partners who've improved safety standards and workers’ rights to stay in business through the pandemic.Meanwhile, rich-country governments keen to support labor rights in Southeast Asia should maintain preferential trading policies with the goal of supporting the region's workers through a devastating downturn. That should help some of the world's most vulnerable get through the next few months, while ensuring that years of progress made by the global apparel industry isn't left in tatters.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Adam Minter is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is the author of “Junkyard Planet: Travels in the Billion-Dollar Trash Trade” and the forthcoming "Secondhand: Travels in the New Global Garage Sale."For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
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(Bloomberg) -- Target Corp. dumped the full-year sales and profit forecast it gave just three weeks ago even as sales in March have soared, underscoring the difficulty retailers face in navigating the unfolding coronavirus crisis.Citing an “unusually wide range of potential outcomes” for its first-quarter performance and $300 million in additional costs as it scurries to keep shelves stocked, the retailer withdrew its sales, operating profit and earnings-per-share guidance for the first quarter and the full year. It also suspended share buybacks and said it will reduce the number of stores it remodels and opens this year, while giving no update on when testing for Covid-19 will begin in its parking lots.“It’s difficult to provide guidance with any precision in this environment,” Chief Executive Officer Brian Cornell said on a call with reporters. “America is largely out of business. There’s no playbook, and we are writing the script each and every day.”What’s clear is that Target’s sales have risen dramatically as Americans stockpile everything from toilet paper to tequila, pushing sales of household essentials and food and beverages up more than 50% in March so far, Target said Wednesday. But demand for apparel has simultaneously plunged, leaving overall comparable sales, a closely watched retail metric, up more than 20% for the month. Since clothing is more profitable than food, Target said its profit margins could narrow in the quarter ending April 30.“In-store shopping behavior is unprecedented,” said Cornell, adding that the company is installing checkout lane markers to maintain 6 feet of distance between shoppers, and will now clean checkouts after every transaction. Kroger Co., the supermarket chain, has gone even further, adding plexiglass partitions at cash registers.No ReturnsTarget will also stop accepting returns, and stop packing items in reusable bags for fear of transmitting the virus. Shoppers who bring their own reusable shopping bags will have to bag their own goods.Analysts have noted that Target, along with fellow discounters Walmart Inc., Costco Wholesale Corp. and Dollar General Corp., could benefit in the short term as shoppers adjust their buying patterns, keep a close eye on their spending and trade down from, say, steak to chicken.“Consumers are reacting very quickly to the change in economic conditions, even when it comes to purchasing consumables,” Scott Mushkin of R5 Capital said in a research note. “The swiftness of this is somewhat surprising to us and may reflect that more economic hardship is already taking place than is widely understood.”Target fell as much as 3.9% in New York trading Wednesday while the S&P 500 Index gained. The stock has declined more than 20% this year.Meanwhile, Cornell declined to say whether he agreed with President Donald Trump’s desire to reopen the U.S. economy by Easter, saying “I will leave that to the experts.”He also could not say when Target will start offering testing for Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, in store parking lots, saying only that it was in the early stages. Rival Walmart, in conjunction with Walgreens Boots Alliance, has already opened a few testing sites in the Chicago area. Target’s pharmacies are operated by CVS Health Corp., and Cornell said CVS is “providing the technical expertise” and would work directly with health officials.As for the well-chronicled shortages of toilet paper, Cornell said manufacturers are adding production shifts to meet the unprecedented demand, which retail supply-chain experts have equated to Thanksgiving and Christmas happening every day for weeks, with none of the usual lead times to stock up.Shifting DemandCornell said demand has come in waves for different types of products, starting with everyday cleaning products and then shifting to food and beverages and now items like games, crafts and small kitchen appliances.The volatile environment has left retailers in the dark, prompting Moody’s Investors Service to cut its outlook on the entire sector.“The U.S. retail industry is battening down for an unprecedented mix of woes,” the credit-ratings company said in a report on Tuesday.(Updates with shares and analyst comment beginning in seventh paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
"It's a very unique environment that none of us have seen before," Target Chief Executive Officer Brian Cornell said on Wednesday, adding that it had been difficult to keep shelves stocked with some essential items when demand soared. Target CEO Cornell said demand has been "unprecedented," likening the buying behavior to levels occasionally seen during natural disasters.
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