) share prices rose after Piper Jaffray raised its investment recommendation on the retail clothing company to outperform from market perform.
Analyst Jeffrey Klinefelter said that the challenging back-to-school season is fully priced into the company's shares. He thinks mall traffic trends have improved steadily during the past few weeks from negative trends seen at the end of July and in the first week of August. Company management made it clear that embellished denim has done extremely well, performing so strongly it has hurt other bottoms categories, Klinefelter said. He thinks Aeropostale's new Jimmy'Z concept could be a significant catalyst going forward as it has the potential for 600 to 800 stores. The analyst kept his price target at $28 per share, or about 15 times his $1.89 earnings per share estimate for fiscal 2007 (ending January).