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Wachovia Upgrades Guess to Outperform

Wachovia upgraded Guess (GES) shares to outperform from market perform.

Analyst Joseph Teklits says style trends position the company well for the 2005 back-to-school and holiday periods. Further, he sees "positive buzz" around the Marciano product, two new retailing concepts, and improved operating systems helping the company deliver 20% earnings growth over the next two to three years.

Teklits says with denim inventory steadily ramping, the Marciano product taking off, and comparisons becoming easier in August, same-store sales growth could accelerate in the second half of 2005. As such, he ups 4% third-quarter comp estimates to 6%, and his 6% forecast for the fourth quarter to 7%. He still sees flat April comps due to the shift in the Easter holiday. He increased his $18 stock price target to $20.

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