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Citigroup Upgrades Talbots and Urban Outfitters

Citigroup upgraded Talbots (TLB) to hold from sell and Urban Outfitters (URBN) to buy from hold.

Analyst Kimberly Greenberger noted that retailers have underperformed the S&P 500 after poor February sales. She thinks bad news is already reflected in these shares, however. Moreover, she says that with expectations low, valuations at 3-year averages, and acceleration in March and April sales expected, she believes shares are poised to outperform. She bases her Talbots upgrade on valuation following its recent price weakness, but sees little near-term catalyst to move it in either direction at current levels. She cut her $1.70 fiscal year 2007 (ending January) earnings per share (EPS) estimate to $1.60 to show acquisition financing costs.

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