Guess Inc.'s shares jumped Friday following an upgrade by a Wedbush analyst.

THE SPARK: Analyst Betty Chen upgraded Guess to "Outperform" from "Neutral," saying the clothing and accessories company has begun to show early signs of a meaningful turnaround.

THE BIG PICTURE: Guess, like many of its peers, has struggled with the impact of the sluggish economy. It relies on consumers willing to part with discretionary income for denim, purses and other items but has struggled with soft sales for some time.

Consumers are slowly becoming more willing to spend, but they remain selective. That forces many retailers to be cautious in product offerings, as they try to hit the right note with shoppers.

THE ANALYSIS: Chen said Guess has improved its selections, which could help fuel a turnaround in North America. She also pointed to the potential for better margins in China and stabilizing business in Europe.

The analyst raised her price target from $24 to $34.

SHARE ACTION: Guess shares rose $1.11, or 4.1 percent, to close at $28.08. The stock has traded between $22.48 and $37.15 in the past 52 weeks.

 

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