) to sector outperform from sector perform.
Analyst Dorothy Lakner says August comparable sales were surprisingly strong. With higher third-quarter guidance on the back of firm sales and margins, and with back-to-school merchandise such a hit, she says it's hard to believe the fall and holidays could miss.
Lakner says her estimates could rise again after a likely strong September. She says a strong balance sheet will allow the retailer to fund internal growth, and take market share from peers. Lakner notes the company initiated a quarterly dividend. She upped the $2.00 fiscal 2005 (Jan.) EPS estimate to $2.14 and upped the $2.30 fiscal 2006 estimate to $2.54. She set a $46 target.