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Why Target will be different than Wal-Mart: Analyst

Earnings edge: Target earnings

Shares of Wal-Mart were under pressure Tuesday after the company reported earnings per share and full-year guidance below analyst expectations. But in keeping with the trend over the past year, one Wall Street expert says Target will likely diverge from Wal-Mart and trend higher when it reports earnings on Wednesday before the bell.

While Wal-Mart touched a new 52-week low in Tuesday's session, shares of Target have climbed more than 35 percent in the past year. Talmage Advisors Founder and CEO Liz Dunn told CNBC's "Fast Money" she "expects the stock to be up on the day" when it reports second-quarter results Wednesday.

For Target to continue to push higher, Dunn said analysts would be looking for clarity on three main points in the company's earnings report and conference call.

First, Dunn said she would be focused on the ways that recent management shakeups will impact the company's future progress.

On Monday, Target announced that it had promoted current CFO John Mulligan to a newly created role of executive vice president and chief operating officer, effective Sept. 1. The company said it had hired Express Scripts' Chief Financial Officer Cathy Smith to replace Mulligan as CFO.

Target said Mulligan, Smith and CEO Brian Cornell will all participate on Wednesday's earnings call.

Those management changes come after Target's chief merchandising and supply chain officer Kathee Tesija stepped down from her role into an advisory position in late June.

"We're looking for how those realignments of responsibilities support the long-term strategy," Dunn said of the changes.

In addition to management and strategy clarity, Dunn said she would also be focusing on sales trends for the quarter.

"Last quarter, digital and signature categories really supported the sales trend," she said. "We're hoping that continues."

Dunn said she doubted the company could repeat the 40 percent growth in e-commerce from last quarter, but she expected Target to achieve "industry leading growth in the channel."

Finally, Dunn said she'd be watching forward guidance. "Target is facing much more difficult comparisons going forward, and so we'll be looking at how that factors into guidance."

Shares of Target closed higher on Tuesday heading into the print at $79.69 per share.

CNBC's Re-Essa Buckels contributed research to this report.