Analysts Cheer Urban Outfitters' Strong 2Q, Shares Climb

By RetailFOXBusiness

Shares of Urban Outfitters (NASDAQ:URBN) soared to a 52-week high Tuesday after analysts applauded the retail chain with a slew of upgrades following second-quarter earnings that handily beat Wall Street expectations.

Coming off a better-than-expected quarter, Urban Outfitters CEO Richard Hayne said the company plans to invest between $190 million and $210 million in fiscal 2013 to open new stores.

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Shares of the retail chain closed up about 18% on Tuesday following a chain reaction of upgrades earlier in the day. They have risen about 34% since January.

Stifel (NYSE:SF) raised Urban’s price target to $24 from $17 with a “buy” rating, while UBS (NASDAQ:UBS) upped the retailer to $37 from $28 and Wedbush raised its target to $33 from $28, both on “neutral” ratings.

The upbeat outlook on the Philadelphia-based retailer comes as the maker of apparel for young adults has been trying to revamp its merchandise and open new stores. The company, which already operates more than 400 stores in the U.S., Canada and Europe, plans to open about 51 new stores this year.

Urban Outfitters’ second quarter also benefited from its direct-to-consumer business, which was led by higher traffic at its web site. The retailer said it expects to benefit from online sales through the remainder of the year.

The retailer posted earnings for the period ended July 31 of $61.3 million, or 42 cents a share, up from $56.7 million a year ago, or 35 cents, and topping average analyst estimates of 33 cents in a Thomson Reuters poll.

Sales were up 11% to $676.3 million, beating the Street’s view of $671.6 million, while those at its namesake stores climbed 14% to $310.7 million.