Markets & Finance

Analyst Actions: Target, Consolidated Water

Opinions on stocks in the news Wednesday

From Standard & Poor's Equity ResearchGOLDMAN CUTS ESTIMATES FOR TARGET

Goldman Sachs analyst Adrianne Shapira says Target (TGT) lowered its December same-store sales view to -1% to + 1%, from original +3%-5% guidance, which had already been tempered based on weak November trends. While traffic strengthened at the end of Week 3, it was not enough to offset the month's slow start.

Shapira says Target needed a meaningful reversal in weak traffic trends to deliver fourth quarter EPS expectations; instead, results fell well short of this necessary improvement.

She cuts fourth quarter EPS estimate to $1.25 from her below-consensus $1.29 estimate, $3.40 fiscal year 208 (January) to $3.36, $3.73 fiscal year 2009 to $3.67, and $4.40 fiscal year 2010 to $4.34. Goldman does not rate Target shares.


Brean Murray analyst Michael Gaugler says a Barron's article painted a dismal portrait of potential outcome for Consolidated Water's (CWCO) earnings profile on a near-term basis if negotiations over Baugher's Bay plant with British Virgin Islands (BVI) government collapse. He believes the worst-case scenario is far from becoming reality, and Monday's stock reaction to the story was well overblown.

Gaugler says based on recent meetings he attended with management two weeks ago (noting Barron's admitted story was put together without either management or BVI government input), he believes his interpretation of the situation presents an opportunity to own CWCO shares at attractively depressed levels.

He sees $0.81 2007 EPS and $1.06 for 2008. He sets a $35 price target on the stock.

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