Diamonds and Dogs
Target (TGT) is on target. The retailer is having its best day as a publicly traded company up 18% to new highs thanks to strong earnings. Target easily beat expectations by 20 cents a share as sales rose 3.6% to $18.42 billion. Apparel and essentials drove the quarterly performance. Second-quarter gross margins were 30.6%, up from 30.3%. Digital sales improved 34%. Same-store sales grew 3.4% verse expectations of 3%. Target has sought to remake itself amid competition from Amazon.com and Walmart. In recent years, it has remodeled stores, launched new smaller formats, and added services including drive-up and same-day delivery.
The duck is sick. Aflac (AFL) is trading down 5% on reports a Japanese insurer sold over 100,000 AFLAC policies improperly. Insurer, Japan Post, which sells Aflac policies at post offices nationwide resulted in customers becoming temporarily uninsured and or being double charged for a one-year period that ended in May this year. Japan Post admitted back in July they inappropriately sold around 183,000 policies that left customers at a disadvantage over the past five years. AFLAC says they are conducting a rigorous, voluntary review of their postal channel sales.