Calvin Klein, Speedo Maker's Stock to Extend Rally, Morgan Stanley Says

BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- Shares of Warnaco Group ( WRC), which owns the Calvin Klein and Speedo brands, have rallied 20% since the beginning of October. If Morgan Stanley analysts are correct, the apparel company's stock will keep rising.

Morgan Stanley analyst Joseph Parkhill says in a note today that Warnaco's share price "will rise in absolute terms over the next 60 days. This is because of an earnings release. We believe Warnaco will continue to rally as the market becomes more comfortable with 2012 estimates."

Warnaco, founded in 1874 as a corset maker, hasn't scheduled the publication of its fourth-quarter earnings, although the company will likely report results in early February. However, Parkhill argues that the first catalyst for Warnaco could come next week. On Tuesday, Warnaco confirmed it would make a presentation at the ICR XChange, an annual investor conference, on Jan. 13. Parkhill says the company may confirm fourth-quarter earnings-per-share guidance at the event.

The second catalyst, Parkhill says, would be if Warnaco offers guidance that is in line with consensus estimates on its earnings call. "We estimate that there is about a 70% to 80% or 'very likely' probability for the scenario," Parkhill writes.

Parkhill upgraded shares of Warnaco to "equal weight" from "underweight" Wednesday. Interestingly, with his optimistic view that Warnaco shares will continue to rise through earnings, Parkhill dropped his previous price target of $43, which was below the current share price of $50.95.

Warnaco, which last month announced that Chief Operating Officer Helen McCluskey would take over as president and CEO on Feb. 1, is expected to post fourth-quarter sales of $643 million and earnings of $1.02 a share. For 2012, analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect the apparel company to report sales of $2.75 billion and earnings of $4.53 a share.

-- Written by Robert Holmes in Boston.

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