An announcement that Target Corporation (TGT) would beef up shareholder rewards caused a stir in the markets when it appeared briefly on the retailer's website late in the trading day Tuesday -- then abruptly disappeared. Sources familiar with the incident say the link was inadvertently posted. Official news is pending a vote Tuesday night in San Francisco on company matters.
The dividend and buyback plan is one of several possible contingencies, the sources said.
A "Page was not found" message now greets visitors to the URL that multiple media outlets linked to earlier in the day. The announcement had read that the company would increase its dividends to 56 cents a share from 52 cents and double its stock repurchase program to $10 billion.
It included a blurb from Chief Financial Officer John Mulligan noting “Target’s long history of thoughtfully returning cash to shareholders through dividends and share repurchase.”
Between 3:09 and 3:12 p.m. Tuesday, Target stock rose about 1.05 percent before subsiding slightly to end the day at $78.90, virtually unchanged from its opening price.
Earlier this year, Target undertook a company shakeup, closing its Canadian presence and authorizing a $5 billion buyback program. In May, the company said it had repurchased $562 million worth of shares in the quarter ending May 2. Target's profits were up more than 50 percent in the first quarter.