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Target and North Face stocks are up this much in a month; Is the backlash over?

Target and North Face stocks are up this much in a month; Is the backlash over?

Target (NYSE: TGT), one of the largest retail store operators in the US, and The North Face owner VF Corp. (NYSE: VFC) had been facing headwinds in the stock market over the last few months after coming under intense scrutiny over their conservative efforts to promote progressive agendas.

However, the two companies finally started to see their share price recover over the past month, with TGT gaining more than 3%, and VFC climbing over 6%, indicating that investor sentiment may be improving as boycotts run out of steam.

Target (NYSE: TGT) 

In May, shares of Target plummeted sharply as the retailer grappled with backlash from conservatives over its Pride-themed clothing collection for children. 

In particular, the company’s stock price fell from around $161 in mid-May, to below $130, in just a few weeks, marking a steep drop of more than 20%. 

But since then, TGT shares have embarked on an upward trajectory, rising around 3.25% over the past 30 days. The stock was trading at $134.86 at press time. 

TGT 1-month chart. Source: Finbold

Earlier this week, the company said it would raise its dividend to $1.10 on September 10, bringing its dividend yield to 3.3%, a move that may have contributed to the recent positive sentiment. 

On the other hand, analysts at JPMorgan listed the stock on their ‘Negative Catalyst Watch,’ citing concerns over possible headwinds ahead of Target’s upcoming Q2 earnings report.

In particular, the financial experts were worried about risks related to Target’s sales performance during the July 4th holiday period. 

North Face (NYSE: VFC)

Like Target, shares of North Face’s parent company VF Corp. experienced a significant decline in the second half of May after the company got embroiled in intense controversy for launching a pride ad campaign featuring activist Pattie Gonia. 

But the apparel giant witnessed a strong recovery over the past 30 days, with its share price rising more than 6.8% during that period to the current price of $19.14.

VFC 1-month chart. Source: Finbold

The rally was likely driven by better-than-anticipated Q4 earnings results that VF Corp. reported last month, fueled by strong performance at its North Face brand and an ongoing recovery in China in the post-pandemic era.

Specifically, VF Corp. posted earnings per share of $0.17 on revenue of $2.74 billion in the fourth quarter, exceeding Wall Street estimates. 

In part, the surge can also be attributed to surging interest in VFC stock among institutional investors. Namely, the Swiss financial group The Banque Cantonale Vaudoise bought an additional 69,516 shares in VFC in the first quarter, substantially hiking its stake in the company. 

In addition to Target and VF Corp., shares of Bud Light owner Anheuser-Busch (NYSE: BUD) also recovered in recent weeks, after getting battered over the company’s April ad campaign involving transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney.

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