Shares of Lumber Liquidators hit a 52-week high on Tuesday of $30.81. The stock's 52-week low of $13.43 was set on Sept. 6.
"We are reiterating our Overweight rating and raising our price target to $35 (22x 2013 EPS of $1.59) on LL shares after participating in investor meetings with management last week," Piper Jaffray analysts wrote in a report Tuesday. "After several years of rapid store expansion and infrastructure build, LL now has a tremendous opportunity to drive operating enhancements across the enterprise. The last two quarters have hinted at improvement to comp and gross margin, but we believe the bigger benefits (particularly with gross margin) have yet to see full impact. While we are increasing our out-year 2013 estimate to $1.59 based on increased confidence in the long-term improvement story, LL shares appear to also set up well near-term. Sales and margin compares remain easy for the next 2-3 quarters and the high short interest of ~25% could allow for a rally on (what we believe will be) favorable EPS results."Lumber Liquidators trades at an estimated price-to-earnings ratio for next year of 28.95 times; the average among its peers is 20.45. For comparison, Home Depot (HD) has a lower forward P/E of 19.67. Eight of the nine analysts who cover Lumber Liquidators rated it hold; one analyst gave the stock a sell rating. The stock has risen 71.46% year to date.
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