J.P. Morgan Upgrades Tommy Hilfiger

Analyst Noelle Grainger says the apparel firm's deal to buy its European licensee offers a compelling growth vehicle

J.P. Morgan upgraded Tommy Hilfiger (TOM ) to buy from market performer.

Tommy is in a deal to acquire all the outstanding shares of T.H. International N.V., the owner of its European licensee, for $200 million in cash. Analyst Noelle Grainger says the transaction should close in July, and be accretive to fiscal 2002 (May) by $0.04-$0.06.

At about 1.6 times sales, Grainger thinks the transaction is a little expensive but offers a compelling growth vehicle and easy integration. She notes management targets annualized revenues for Tommy Europe to exceed 300 euros in the next several years. She expects to revisit current estimates after a conference call.

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