) to buy from hold.
Analyst Kristine Koerber says her upgrade was based on strong sales momentum and attractive valuation following recent price weakness, easy year-ago comps and a solid balance sheet. She says the company has been outperforming several retailers in this soft economic climate, as it has become a desination shop due to its higher margin proprietary merchandise.
She says she has increased confidence in her outlook for the holiday season. She narrowed her $0.07 third-quarter loss estimate to a $0.05 loss; she raised her $0.96 fiscal 2003 (Jan.) earnings per share estimate to $1.00 and set a $20 target.