Urban Outfitters rises as Street cheers executive appointment

Shares of Urban Outfitters Inc (URBN.O) rose as much as 7 percent, after the women's apparel retailer said Tedford Marlow will return to the company as the chief executive of its namesake brand.

"We like the idea of putting executives back in roles in which they were previously successful, and we think this story is lining up well for 2012," Barclays Capital analyst Stacy Pak wrote in a client note.

Analyst Pak, who raised her price target on the stock to $29 from $27, said Marlow will reinvigorate the brand as well as the people who work there.

"(Marlow's appointment) demonstrates that new CEO, Hayne, is taking the right steps to solve recent challenges and return the company to its historical growth rates," Roth Capital Partners analyst Elizabeth Pierce, who kept her "buy" rating on the stock, wrote.

Last month, Urban Outfitters, which operates the Anthropologie, Free People and Terrain stores apart from its namesake chain, said co-founder Richard Hayne would replace Glen Senk as CEO in a surprise move.

The company has been criticized for unattractive merchandise which led to a build-up in inventory and hurt gross margins.

On Thursday, the company announced that Marlow, who had retired in early 2010 after spending nine years as the president of Urban Outfitters brand, would return to lead the brand globally.

Shares of the Philadelphia-based company were trading up about 6 percent at $27.96 on Friday morning. They touched a high of $28.28 earlier In the session.

(Reporting by Ranjita Ganesan; Editing by Joyjeet Das)

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