Thus far, this week has been quite sour for investors, as markets have been reacting poorly to data from all around the world. With the dollar trending back and forth, commodities have taken a major hit as oil prices have been smothered as of late, falling all the way down below $97 per barrel. On top of a strengthening dollar, general equities took a big hit yesterday as the poor industrial utilization and home sales figures collided with a weak outlook from HP in their most recent quarterly report. In other news, today should see the pricing of the IPO for the popular business social networking site LinkedIn and tomorrow the shares are scheduled to begin trading, which could be a huge day for the so called ‘web 2.0′ companies [see also Judgment Day For Retail ETFs].
For today, investors will focus their attention on one of the few remaining earnings reports; Target Corporation (TGT). Target is the second-largest retailer in the country and has over 1,700 locations throughout the nation. The #30 ranked Fortune 500 company is home to over 350,000 employees and is seeking to rapidly expand its global reach. Earlier this year, Target announced that it will be opening stores across Canada starting in 2013, which could have a modest impact on their earnings as they prep to expend vast amounts of capital in their expansive phase [see also XTL: A Better Telecom ETF?].
Analysts are calling for the bellwether discount retailer to bring in EPS of $0.94 per share with revenues just passing the $16 billion mark. Last quarter, the company took an unfortunate turn when it missed its marks, leading investors to worry as to how the company’s report will fare today. Investor should take note that the company has a significant amount of debt, with its debt to equity ratio falling in at just over 101. The majority of the debt is long term, suggesting that Target has high hopes for its future exploits into new areas [see also How Balanced Is Your Commodity ETF?].
With this major earnings announcement on tap, today’s ETF to watch will be the PowerShares Dynamic Retail Fund (PMR). This product replicates a benchmark that is comprised of stocks of U.S. retail companies. Target makes up around 4.7% of this fund, giving it a significant influence over PMR’s performance. 2011 has been generous to this fund, which is up nearly 12% while paying out a small dividend of under 1%. With Target making an appearance in this ETF’s top holdings, its earnings report will have a significant influence over PMR’s performance during trading today [see holdings of PMR here].
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Disclosure: Photo courtesy of Bobak Ha’Eri. No positions at time of writing.