Target sees $3 dividend by 2017, buybacks to continue

Minneapolis -- Target Corp. anticipates that its annual dividend may hit $3 per share or more by 2017, if its annual earnings are at $8 per share or more by that time.

Target on Monday said it has paid a dividend every quarter since it became a public company in 1967, and in 2011 the company marked its 40th consecutive year of annual dividend increases.

Target also announced that it plans to invest $1.5 billion or more in buybacks in 2012. It invested nearly $1.9 billion in stock repurchases last year.

“Target’s completion of the 2007 share repurchase program demonstrates our long-standing commitment to return cash to shareholders through both dividends and share repurchase,” said John Mulligan, incoming EVP and CFO, Target. “Through disciplined financial management, Target continues to generate far more cash than we need to fund appropriate reinvestment in our core businesses. As a result, we intend to continue to invest in the repurchase of shares under our January 2012 authorization.”