Will This Upgrade Help Genesco (GCO) Today?

Story updated at 9:50 a.m. to reflect market activity.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Genesco (GCO) was upgraded to "buy" from "neutral" by Sterne Agee Friday.

Shares of Genesco gained 4.9% to $79.69 in morning trading.

The firm set a price target of $85 for the apparel company. Analyst Sam Poser wrote that the Lids brand currently has the highest growth trajectory of the company's brands. "At the same time Journeys is beginning to focus on more timely key items such as retro footwear offerings from New Balance and Adidas," Poser wrote.

Must read: Warren Buffett's 10 Favorite Growth Stocks

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates GENESCO INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate GENESCO INC (GCO) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, attractive valuation levels, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, growth in earnings per share and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • Investors have apparently begun to recognize positive factors similar to those we have mentioned in this report, including earnings growth. This has helped drive up the company's shares by a sharp 25.84% over the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 Index. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, GCO should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • GCO's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.04 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Even though the company has a strong debt-to-equity ratio, the quick ratio of 0.37 is very weak and demonstrates a lack of ability to pay short-term obligations.
  • GENESCO INC has improved earnings per share by 9.8% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, GENESCO INC reported lower earnings of $3.94 versus $4.71 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($5.50 versus $3.94).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the Specialty Retail industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 9.4% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $38.53 million to $42.15 million.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: GCO Ratings Report

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

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