Friday, September 15, 2006

Calls of Note Part 5

- Several firms are commenting on American Eagle Outfitters' (NASDAQ:AEOS) Martin + Osa store concept:

* CIBC notes they attended a store tour of AEOS' new MARTIN+OSA store in Tyson's Corner, VA. Some have criticized Eagle for the time it took to launch a second concept, but the result, they think, is a highly differentiated brand in a unique setting and serving a grown-up AE customer.

While M+O will evolve, the firm likes what they see so far. The stunning store design is likely to draw traffic and the fusion of sport apparel with fashion sportswear is right on trend. Firm thinks M+O offers a distinct point of view for its 30-yr old target, a $1B 300-store opportunity for shareholders.

Opportunity still exists in core AE in higher store productivity goal of $550-600 from $467 and margin pot from planning/allocation and new store remodel.

AE is on a roll with strong response to fall and easy comp vs holiday 05 when sweaters were a miss. While AEOS shares have had a great run, with over $5 in cash and opp in 3 brands, they think there's still more flight left in this bird; thus, the firm is raising their tgt from $41 to $48 and reiterating SO.

* Prudential notes they liked the look and feel of the Martin + Osa store. They liked men's more than women's, and overall they thought pricing may be too high. The firm was less enthusiastic about the marketing themes such as "Big, Simple, True," which they thought seemed to be trying a little too hard.

Notablecalls: Not actionable but good to know category.

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