Banc of America Ups J Jill to 'Buy'

Analyst Amy Noblin says the women retailer's improved line is driving stronger profit

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.

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