Three top retail analysts raised their price target on Urban Outfitters stock this morning after the retailer posted better-than-expected earnings per share on better gross margins following the market close Monday.
But they held steady on the retailer’s ratings as the company’s repositioning efforts still appear to be in the early stages.
Investors, meanwhile, were bullish on the stock. In pre-market trading, shares were up 8.2 percent to $28.16. At the opening bell, the momentum continued with the stock rising 10 percent to $31.02.
Eric Beder, research analyst at Wunderlich Securities Inc. reiterated his “hold” rating on the stock, but upped his price target to $26 from a prior one of $22. Beder said he was taking a wait-and-see approach as results have been “consistently inconsistent.”
Beder said Urban Outfitters “has struggled to capture key fashion gains (particularly apparel) and continued to pour resources into the omnichannel segment.” However, the analyst said while apparel has been “somewhat vexing, the newer expansion categories have had solid successes, in key areas such as shoes (now designed for each chain), home (a key grower at Anthropologie), intimates and new rollouts of active wear for Free People and beauty over the holidays.”
He added that while these categories are not “big enough to offset the continued weakness in apparel and register overall positive same-store sales, they do offer hope for the future in terms of growth vehicles.”
Dana Telsey, chief executive officer at Telsey Advisory Group, agreed that these non-apparel categories have somewhat helped.
“While apparel sales remain sluggish, [Urban Outfitters] has filled in with adjacent categories — home and beauty at Anthropologie; intimates, activewear, shoes at Free People,” Telsey said, adding that the Urban Outfitters’ margin recovery was a “result of reduced markdowns,” which will likely continue.
As a result, Telsey reiterated a “market perform” rating on the stock, but raised her price target to $35 from $23.
Ike Boruchow, senior analyst at Wells Fargo Securities, said as the retailer wraps up a “lackluster year” across all of its brands, the company “appears to have a long road ahead as they continue to pursue a recovery.”
“Though management appears optimistic for improvement in [fiscal 2017] as they lap easier comps, with so many moving parts, little visibility into top line trends, and a highly competitive apparel space, we reiterate our ‘market perform’ rating,” Boruchow said, adding that he raised the stock’s valuation range to $26 to $28 from a prior range of $22 to $24.