Banc of America upgraded J Jill Group (JILL ) to buy from neutral.
Analyst Amy Noblin says she upgraded given the number of factors, including significantly improved product with more to come from new talent, and a model highly leveraged to the growing retail mix. She says color and novelty is driving top-line improvement. Noblin says multi-city channel checks have shown more a interesting, colorful assortment, and has revealed strong business trends.
Longer term, Noblin says the real upside will come from a new management team. She raised her target to $24, and assumes a p-e of 24 times her normalized $1.00 2005 earnings per share estimate.