What You Can Learn From Target Corporation's (NYSE:TGT) P/E

Simply Wall St · 5d ago

There wouldn't be many who think Target Corporation's (NYSE:TGT) price-to-earnings (or "P/E") ratio of 18.2x is worth a mention when the median P/E in the United States is similar at about 17x. However, investors might be overlooking a clear opportunity or potential setback if there is no rational basis for the P/E.

With its earnings growth in positive territory compared to the declining earnings of most other companies, Target has been doing quite well of late. One possibility is that the P/E is moderate because investors think the company's earnings will be less resilient moving forward. If not, then existing shareholders have reason to be feeling optimistic about the future direction of the share price.

View our latest analysis for Target

pe-multiple-vs-industry
NYSE:TGT Price to Earnings Ratio vs Industry May 13th 2024
Keen to find out how analysts think Target's future stacks up against the industry? In that case, our free report is a great place to start.

Does Growth Match The P/E?

In order to justify its P/E ratio, Target would need to produce growth that's similar to the market.

Retrospectively, the last year delivered an exceptional 49% gain to the company's bottom line. However, the latest three year period hasn't been as great in aggregate as it didn't manage to provide any growth at all. So it appears to us that the company has had a mixed result in terms of growing earnings over that time.

Shifting to the future, estimates from the analysts covering the company suggest earnings should grow by 8.0% per annum over the next three years. Meanwhile, the rest of the market is forecast to expand by 9.9% each year, which is not materially different.

With this information, we can see why Target is trading at a fairly similar P/E to the market. It seems most investors are expecting to see average future growth and are only willing to pay a moderate amount for the stock.

The Final Word

Generally, our preference is to limit the use of the price-to-earnings ratio to establishing what the market thinks about the overall health of a company.

As we suspected, our examination of Target's analyst forecasts revealed that its market-matching earnings outlook is contributing to its current P/E. At this stage investors feel the potential for an improvement or deterioration in earnings isn't great enough to justify a high or low P/E ratio. It's hard to see the share price moving strongly in either direction in the near future under these circumstances.

There are also other vital risk factors to consider before investing and we've discovered 2 warning signs for Target that you should be aware of.

Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking at a few good candidates. So take a peek at this free list of companies with a strong growth track record, trading on a low P/E.