Goldman Sachs Upgrades Zale

Analyst Adrianne Shapira raises her earnings estimate for fiscal 2002 on better than expected holiday results

Goldman Sachs upgrades Zale Corp. (ZLC ) to market outperform from market perform.

Analyst Adrianne Shapira says she is raising her $2.80 FY 02 (July) EPS estimate to $2.85, and sets a $3.30 FY 03 estimate, on better than expected holiday results as a turnaround unfolds ahead of its plan. She says the jewelry company is in the early stages of its turnaround efforts given current management's proven track record, disciplined promotional cadence, further cost cutting opportunities, and weakened competitive landscape given the tough environment.

As year ago comparisons ease, investors have reset the bar in FY 02, and the analyst believes the stock gets valued at 14 times CY 02 estimate, or $46. She would view weakness as a compelling buy opportunity, she says.