June 12, 2018 / 12:46 PM / 11 days ago

Urban Outfitters' upbeat quarterly forecast spurs price target hikes

(Reuters) - Shares of Urban Outfitters Inc (URBN.O) rose nearly 4 percent on Tuesday after at least four brokerages raised their price targets following the company’s upbeat quarterly same-store sales forecast at its retail business.

FILE PHOTO: An Urban Outfitters store front is seen in Evanston, Illinois, U.S. May 13, 2016. REUTERS/Jim Young/File Photo

The owner of Anthropologie and Free People clothing chains said same-store sales so far in the second quarter had climbed to the mid-teens percentage range. The company’s stock rose to $48.79 pre-market after the news from a regulatory filing.

The forecast was a nice surprise for analysts, who were bullish on the company’s outlook.

KeyBanc analyst Edward Yruma said the same-store sales growth was an acceleration of at least 4 percentage points compared to first-quarter comparable sales growth.

“The company has been very disciplined in its store footprint and, most importantly, is well positioned given its already high e-commerce penetration,” Yruma, who raised his price target on the stock by $10 to $55, wrote in a note.

“Believe Urban Outfitters remains one of the best positioned companies in apparel.”

J.P. Morgan analysts also said the forecast had exceeded their expectations of low-double-digit growth.

All brands under the Urban Outfitter umbrella reported better-than-expected same-store sales growth for the first quarter, last month.

While many retailers including Urban Outfitters struggled with unseasonably cold weather in the first quarter, hampering same-store sales growth, they have all cited improvement with the start of the spring season.

“We see Urban Outfitters’ update as an additional indication that the second quarter is off to a solid start across the group,” Telsey Advisory Group analyst Dana Telsey wrote in a note. She boosted her target to $53 from $42.

The median target price on Urban Outfitter’s stock is $47, up 18 percent from just a month ago.

Still, some analysts are on the fence in recommending the stock. At least 12 out of 22 brokerages rate the stock “hold,” while nine rate it “buy” or higher. One analyst has a “sell” rating.

Reporting by Aishwarya Venugopal in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr

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