If I Could Buy Only 1 Stock, This Would Be It

The S&P 500 is hovering near all-time highs, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of stocks still worth buying today. Many promising tech stocks now look cheaper after rising bond yields sparked a rotation from growth to value stocks, while many businesses that struggled during the pandemic could recover as vaccination rates rise…

I recently highlighted several promising tech and retail stocks to buy in April. But if I could only add one of those stocks to my portfolio right now, it would be Target (NYSE:TGT), for five simple reasons.

1. A retail survivor

Back in 2014, Target seemed doomed to become another victim of the retail apocalypse. It struggled to compete against Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), its comparable-store sales were slipping, and it was racking up big losses from its ill-conceived expansion into Canada.

But Brian Cornell, who took over as Target’s CEO that year, and his management team pulled the retailer back from the brink. Target renovated its aging stores, launched smaller-format stores for urban areas, and turned its brick-and-mortar stores into a well-oiled fulfillment network for online orders, deliveries, and in-store pickups.

Target also launched new private-label brands to compete with fast-fashion retailers, expanded its loyalty program, matched Amazon’s prices, and offered new same-day delivery options. Those efforts didn’t bear fruit right away, but Target’s comps growth eventually recovered and put it in a strong position to weather the unprecedented pandemic over the past year.

2. Strong comps growth and a rising store count

Weak retailers usually struggle with declining comps and shutter their stores to cut costs. Strong retailers, like Target, consistently generate rising comps, while opening new stores:

Fiscal Year 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Comps Growth (0.5%) 1.3% 5% 3.4% 19.3%
Store Count 1,802 1,822 1,844 1,868 1,897

DATA SOURCE: TARGET.

Target’s rising store count strengthens its ability to fulfill online orders. Three-quarters of the U.S. population now lives within 10 miles of a Target store, which makes it…

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