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J.Crew (JCG) is proving analysts wrong -- or, at least, one analyst in particular: Bean Murray Carret analyst Eric Beder, who upgraded the preppy apparel retailer to hold from sell today, as the company negated every one of his "sell" thesis.

Shares of J.Crew soared 21% to $24.79 in morning trading, a day after the company

posted better-than-expected first quarter earnings


"But with J.Crew trading at one of the highest multiples in the sector, we do not believe a buy rating is justified either," Beder said in a note on Friday.

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During the quarter, the company earned $20.4 million, or 32 cents per share, compared with $30.5 million, or 48 cents per share, last year. Analysts expected a profit of 10 cents.

Revenue rose 1.5% to $345.8 million from $340.6 million,

"We believe J.Crew was able to capture material trade-down business from the luxury shopper, who snatched up the company's differentiated fashion items; for the Neiman Marcus and Saks customer, the company represents a high-quality alternative at compelling price points," Beder wrote.

The best part: J.Crew is up against even easier comparisons in the second half of the year. Last year the company experienced a number of "self-induced" blunders, including issues in direct marketing and inventory. They presumably will not anniversary these mistakes this year.

As a result, Beder raised his full-year 2010 EPS estimate to $1.15 a share from 54 cents a share.

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