) to overweight from underweight.
Analyst Noelle Grainger says she likes Ralph Lauren's company-specific margin improvement story, particularly in a year when most apparel companies are at risk from increased competitiveness and uncertainty around outsourcing. She says Ralph Lauren is not immune from these risks, but has less than average exposure while anniversarying fiscal year 2004's investments in Europe and Lauren, and beginning to capture associated benefits that, at a minimum, should insulate them from downside risk, and more likely deliver EPS upside.
She raised fiscal year 2004 (March) EPS estimate to $1.82, and fiscal 2005 to $2.40. She set a $35 price target.