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Two important questions to ask before you buy Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) is, how it makes money and how it spends its cash. What is left after investment, determines the value of the stock since this cash flow technically belongs to investors of the company. I’ve analysed below, the health and outlook of Target’s cash flow, which will help you understand the stock from a cash standpoint. Cash is an important concept to grasp as an investor, as it directly impacts the value of your shares and the future growth potential of your portfolio.
What is free cash flow?
Free cash flow (FCF) is the amount of cash Target has left after it pays off its expenses, including its net capital expenditures, which is what the company needs to spend each year to maintain or grow its business operations.
I will be analysing Target’s FCF by looking at its FCF yield and its operating cash flow growth. The yield will tell us whether the stock is generating enough cash to compensate for the risk investors take on by holding a single stock, which I will compare to the market index. The growth will proxy for sustainability levels of this cash generation.
Free Cash Flow = Operating Cash Flows – Net Capital Expenditure
Free Cash Flow Yield = Free Cash Flow / Enterprise Value
where Enterprise Value = Market Capitalisation + Net Debt
Along with a positive operating cash flow, Target also generates a positive free cash flow. However, the yield of 3.28% is not sufficient to compensate for the level of risk investors are taking on. This is because Target’s yield is well-below the market yield, in addition to serving higher risk compared to the well-diversified market index.
Does Target have a favourable cash flow trend?Can Target improve its operating cash production in the future? Let’s take a quick look at the cash flow trend the company is expected to deliver over time. Over the next three years, Target is expected to deliver a decline in operating cash flow compared to the most recent level, which is not an encouraging sign. Below is a table of Target’s operating cash flow in the past year, as well as the anticipated level going forward.
|Current||+1 year||+2 year||+3 year|
|Operating Cash Flow (OCF)||US$6.1b||US$5.7b||US$5.9b||US$6.0b|
|OCF Growth Year-On-Year||-5.8%||2.8%||2.2%|
|OCF Growth From Current Year||-3.1%||-1.0%|
Low free cash flow yield means you are not currently well-compensated for the risk you’re taking on by holding onto Target relative to a well-diversified market index. Moreover, the stock’s negative growth prospects in terms of cash flow, seems worrisome. Keep in mind that cash is only one aspect of investment analysis and there are other important fundamentals to assess. I suggest you continue to research Target to get a more holistic view of the company by looking at:
- Valuation: What is TGT worth today? Is the stock undervalued, even when its growth outlook is factored into its intrinsic value? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether TGT is currently mispriced by the market.
- Management Team: An experienced management team on the helm increases our confidence in the business – take a look at who sits on Target’s board and the CEO’s back ground.
- Other High-Performing Stocks: If you believe you should cushion your portfolio with something less risky, scroll through our free list of these great stocks here.
To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.
The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at email@example.com.