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5 Stock Strategies From Wall Street: Feb. 1


3) Mattress Companies Remain a Top Analyst Pick

The mattress industry remains the favorite subsector of KeyBanc stock analysts who see pent-up demand following the recession, a shift toward specialty and premium products and an aging population seeking better mattresses. The analysts say that mattress companies will likely experience strong sales momentum this year, thanks to new product launches and increased advertising. They're reiterating their buy recommendation and raising their price target for Mattress Firm ( MFRM) to $36 from $32; reaffirming their buy view and lifting their price target for Tempur-Pedic (TPX) to $83 from $73; and reiterating their buy opinion and increasing their price target for Select Comfort (SCSS) to $30 from $28.

KeyBanc analysts see more "tailwinds" for Mattress Firm as the company focuses on market penetration, with 67% of its new, upcoming stores arriving in existing markets and 33% in new markets. They say the stores in existing markets will experience higher same-store sales, market share and operating margins as they benefit from advertising; while stores in new markets will mainly compete against smaller stores that will be overshadowed by Mattress Firm's strong brand and service standards, say the analysts.

Looking at Tempur-Pedic, the researchers make special note of the company's new, lower-priced Simplicity line, which they believe could ultimately add 25% to 35% to its sales. They believe that Tempur-Pedic's new, lower-priced product is unique enough so that it will not significantly eat into the sales of existing products.

Select Comfort, another one of the KeyBanc analysts' top picks, has plans for a 5% to 7% store unit growth beginning this year, with the potential for an increase to at least 500 stores. In addition, Select Comfort plans to drive greater awareness of its Sleep Number brand and retail locations. The analysts continued to be impressed with the company's new m7 line, priced at $3,199 for a queen mattress set.

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