* Shares rise 4 percent, pare some gains later
* Goldman Sachs upgrades to “neutral” from “sell”
* Goldman says sales should rise 4 pct in 2014, 8 pct in 2015 (Adds quotes from analyst note, further share move)
MILAN, Feb 6 (Reuters) - Shares in Italian luxury shoemaker Tod’s reversed recent losses on Thursday after Goldman Sachs upgraded the stock to “neutral” from “sell” and predicted sales would rise over the next two years.
The stock rose over 4 percent in early trade, giving back some gains to be quoted at 99.95 euros at 1122 GMT, 2.8 percent higher on the day.
A Milan-based trader put the rise down to a Goldman Sachs report dated Feb. 5., in which analysts upgraded the stock following significant weakness in the shares after full year 2013 sales figures.
Shares in the maker of 300-400 euro ($410-$540) leather loafers fell more than 7 percent on Jan. 30 after the company posted full-year revenue below market expectations. Analysts had questioned the group’s ability to boost sales outside Europe and branch out into higher-margin products.
Goldman Sachs analysts said Tod’s should be able to grow top line revenue, “at a slower rate than some of its soft luxury peers”, by 4 percent in 2014 and 8 percent in 2015.
By comparison, consensus estimates for peer Salvatore Ferragamo point to 2014 sales growing nearly 8 percent, before accelerating a further 9.7 percent in 2015.
Tod’s sales will be driven by the French shoe brand Roger Vivier which should see 33 percent compound annual growth over 2013-2017, Goldman Sachs said.
However, the analysts said Tod’s is unlikely to increase its profitability margin over the next two years, due to competitive pressure and the rising cost of operating stores.
$1 = 0.7390 euros Reporting by Isla Binnie; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle