By  on July 31, 2007

Shares of Nordstrom Inc. rose 7.2 percent to $47.06 Monday after Goldman Sachs upgraded the upscale department store chain from "neutral" to "buy" and added the company to its conviction buy list.

Analyst Adrianne Shapira wrote in a research report that Nordstrom is the "cheapest way to play luxury retail" thanks to its compelling valuation; full-year earnings outlook based on its affluent customer base and limited home exposure, and approaching same-store sales catalysts starting with July comps.

"We see many similarities between the stock's trading pattern today with mid-2006 where a [plus] 80 percent rally ensued following July [same-store sales] release in early August 2006," said Shapira, who noted Nordstrom shares are down 26 percent since mid-February.

"As on-to-above plan comps continue to materialize, driving greater earnings visibility into [the second half], we suspect investor confidence will be restored," the analyst said.

Shapira reiterated her price target of $57 for Nordstrom shares, a 30 percent upside to the stock's current trading price.

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