Target’s stock downgraded at Citi, which cites slowing traffic and ‘tough competitive positioning’

June 9, 2023

Target Corp.’s stock was downgraded to neutral from buy Friday by Citi, which cited slowing traffic and a tough competitive landscape for the retail giant.

“After significant sales gains in 2020-2022, we believe 2023 is showing that sales have peaked and are likely to fall further, creating a ‘giveback’ situation,” wrote Citi analyst Paul Lejuez in a note released Friday.

The analyst also cited a “noteworthy deceleration” in Target’s TGT, -3.26% store traffic over the past two weeks.

Target Corp.’s stock fell 1.4% in premarket trades Friday, after ending Thursday’s session down 0.4%.

“Now that 2023 is shaping up as a down sales year (and we are taking our sales [estimates] down further), it raises the question of how far sales might fall,” Lejuez wrote, adding that Target has been Citi’s lowest-ranked buy-rated stock for some time. “We are concerned now more than ever, and we can no longer recommend that investors Buy [Target],” he added.

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