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CIBC Ups American Eagle to Sector Outperform

CIBC World upgraded American Eagle Outfitters (AEOS) to sector outperform from sector perform.

Analyst Dorothy Lakner says August comparable sales were surprisingly strong. With higher third-quarter guidance on the back of firm sales and margins, and with back-to-school merchandise such a hit, she says it's hard to believe the fall and holidays could miss.

Lakner says her estimates could rise again after a likely strong September. She says a strong balance sheet will allow the retailer to fund internal growth, and take market share from peers. Lakner notes the company initiated a quarterly dividend. She upped the $2.00 fiscal 2005 (Jan.) EPS estimate to $2.14 and upped the $2.30 fiscal 2006 estimate to $2.54. She set a $46 target.

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