Jan. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Luxottica Group SpA, owner of the Oakley and Ray-Ban sunglasses brands, rose the most since May 2010 as analysts raised target prices after fourth-quarter sales beat estimates.
The shares climbed as much as 6.2 percent to 25.45 euros and traded up 5.1 percent as of 9:35 a.m. in Milan.
Luxottica, the world’s largest eyewear maker, reported a 12 percent increase in sales. In North America, its biggest market, consumer confidence rose to an eight-month high in December. Bank of America, Intermonte, Cheuvreux, Deutsche Bank and Citigroup analysts raised target prices on Luxottica.
“Luxottica is one of our top picks in Italy and Europe, as it should benefit from a number of catalysts,” Cheuvreux analyst Thomas Mesmin said in a note today, citing worldwide expansion of the Sunglass Hut franchise, its presence in Latin America in wholesale and retail and expansion of the Ray-Ban brand in emerging markets.
The Milan-based company said revenue in the three months ended Dec. 31 rose to 1.51 billion euros ($1.96 billion) after the close of trading yesterday. That exceeded the average estimate of five analysts in a Bloomberg survey of 1.47 billion euros.
The outlook for the retail division this year is “positive,” Luxottica said, citing improved conditions in the U.S. and opportunities in emerging markets for its Sunglass Hut chain. The start of the year “looks promising,” reflecting orders for its products and Coach Inc. eyewear.
The shares have gained 15 percent this year, giving the company a market value of 11.6 billion euros. Its nearest competitor, Padua-based Safilo Group SpA, owner of the Carrera eyewear brand, has gained 14 percent.
--Editors: Sara Marley, Robert Valpuesta
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