The Associated Press June 16, 2010, 8:59AM ET

Ahead of the Bell: Kenneth Cole

Clothing and footwear maker Kenneth Cole Productions Inc.'s product line is improving and demand is increasing, an analyst said Wednesday, and raised his rating on the stock to "Buy."

Kenneth Cole Productions has suffered as consumers cut back during the recession, but lately the company has experienced a resurgence in demand. Last month, the company reported a first-quarter profit, helped by improving demand in all segments.

Sterne Agee analyst Sam Poser said that trend is likely to continue.

"Kenneth Cole Productions is finally making tangible progress in order to become, as the company puts it, 'the quintessential metropolitan lifestyle brand for modern men and women,'" Poser wrote in a note to investors.

He added that he expects improved footwear revenue and strong initial Reaction sportswear sales when the men's line debuts in Macy's in the third quarter.

He upgraded his rating to "Buy" from "Hold" and set a $16 price target.

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