Shares of TJX Cos.  (TJX) - Get Report flew off the racks Friday after the discount retailer's shares were upgraded to buy by a top industry analyst.

The Framingham, R.I., company's stock price at last check rose 4.5% to $48.55 after a Jefferies analyst boosted her rating on the retail giant to buy from hold.

Jefferies' Janine Stichter also lifted her price target on TJX, owner of the T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and Home Goods chains, 30% to $60 a share from $46. That new target indicates a roughly 25% premium over its current trading price.

The Jefferies analyst contends the discount retail chain is positioned to expand its market share in a post-covid-19 world, with consumers in tough times typically flocking to off-price brands.

Stichter noted that during the previous recession more than a decade ago, TJX's comparable-store sales accelerated as consumers "traded down to off-price retail." Now the trend is likely to repeat itself, according to the Jefferies analyst.

In addition, TJX will continue to pick up market share from traditional department stores as their footprints shrink.

"TJX's recession-resistant model is a winner in the current environment," the Jefferies analyst wrote.

TJX, whose stores buy up designer clothing from other retailers and then resell them at discounts, has the potential to make some "unprecedented [inventory] buys" over the coming months, Stichter contends.

The Jefferies analyst noted that the retailer tends to buy much inventory in-season, which should enable "opportunistic inventory buys of top-tier brands."