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Stocks to Watch: Apple, Foot Locker

Updated from 8:27 a.m. ET to add Apple.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- These stocks were making headlines ahead of Friday's opening bell.

Apple (AAPL - Get Report):

Jefferies reiterated a buy rating on the iPhone maker and lifted its 12-month price target to $900 from $800, saying its channel checks indicate the iPad Mini has gone to into production.

"Based on July Taiwan sales data and our checks, we believe iPad builds for CQ3 have been raised from 18M to 25M and CQ4 from 22-25M to >30M," the firm said. "We continue to think Apple will have ~15M iPhone 5 handsets by mid-Sep and the iTV will launch in CQ4 or CQ1. We remain significantly above Street EPS for FY13 ($63 vs. St $52) and think the iPhone 5 will be the biggest handset launch in history."

Shares of Apple finished Thursday at $636.34, and were trading slightly higher at $639.50 in pre-market action.

Jefferies thinks Apple's event on Sept. 12 is going to feature the announcement of the iPhone 5 and possibly the iPad Mini with a launch of iTV, or Apple TV, viewed as "less likely" at that time.

"For the iPhone 5, we remain confident that by mid-September Apple will have ~15M in finished goods inventory," the firm said. "We believe 3GS, 4 and 4S builds continue into Q4. Pricing for all of those models has been slashed already. Total iPhone builds for H2:CY12 are well in excess of 80M vs. our estimate of 81M. We do not know if Apple will have a separate announcement event in Oct for the iPad Mini, and while we also think an iTV will be ready for a CQ4 launch, we do not know how many major product announcements Apple would want to cram into Sep/Oct/Nov and see a CQ1 launch as possible."

Foot Locker (FL - Get Report):

Shares of the New York-based athletic apparel and shoes retailer were surging in pre-market action after the company reported second-quarter earnings of $59 million, or 39 cents a share, on net sales of $1.37 billion. Same-store sales jumped 9.8%.

That performance compared to a year-ago equivalent profit of $37 million, or 24 cents a share, on sales of $1.28 billion, and the average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters for earnings of 33 cents a share on sales of $1.35 billion in the July-ended period.

The stock closed Thursday at $34.49, and were up nearly 5% at $36.17 ahead of the open.

Brocade Communications (BRCD - Get Report):

The San Jose, Calif.-based chip maker topped Wall Street's expectations for its fiscal third-quarter results and announced Michael Klayko plans to resign as chief executive officer once a replacement is found.

"The Board will prioritize the search process in order to facilitate a seamless transition as expeditiously as possible," said David House, the chairman of Brocade's board, of the leadership change. "In doing so, the Board will consider all qualified individuals. In the meantime, we remain focused on the business and enhancing shareholder value."

Pacific Crest Securities upgraded Brocade to sector perform following the news, saying Klayko's departure could ultimately be a positive catalyst.

"Leadership change could increase probability of a breakup or takeover," the firm said. "Declining attach-rates for Fibre Channel (60% of sales) will remain overhang, but sum-of-the-parts analysis suggests stock could be worth $7, or 5x cash flow."

Aeropostale (ARO):

The casual apparel retailer reported in-line results on the top line for its fiscal second quarter but came in a bit light on revenue. After Thursday's closing bell, New York-based Aeropostale posted a profit of $100,000, or break even on a per share basis, on sales of $485.3 million, up 4% year-over-year. Same-store sales were flat.

The average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters was for breakeven results on revenue of $490.1 million in the July-ended period.

""While we were encouraged by the customer response to our fashion offering, we were disappointed by our overall financial performance for the second quarter," said Thomas Johnson, the company's CEO. "Our core basics business experienced significant pricing pressure due to the highly promotional and competitive retail landscape. As a result, we promoted these businesses more aggressively than initially expected to end the quarter with inventories inline with our plan."

Aeropostale also forecast earnings of 25 to 30 cents a share for its fiscal third quarter ending in October, saying this guidance reflects a soft start to back-to-school selling season. Wall Street's current consensus estimate is for a profit of 37 cents a share in the quarter.

The stock closed Thursday at $13.66, up more than 25% over the past year.

Gap (GPS):

The San Francisco-based retailer reported better-than-expected results for its second quarter and lifted its outlook for the full year to earnings of $1.95 to $2 per share. The average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters is for earnings of $2.09 a share in the fiscal year ending in January.

For the three months ended in July, Gap earned $243 million, or 49 cents a share, on sales of $3.58 billion with same-store sales up 4%. Gap North America saw a 7% comparable sales boost in the quarter.

The stock closed Thursday at $34.34, and has more than doubled in the past year.
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AAPL $95.18 1.64%
BRCD $8.25 -3.06%
FL $61.52 -0.84%
SJM $126.82 -0.67%
WAG $81.65 2.05%


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