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Analyst boosts Deckers rating, price target

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of Deckers Outdoor rose to a new 52-week high on Tuesday as an analyst boosted the footwear maker's rating and price target, citing improving demand.

THE SPARK: Canaccord Genuity's Camilo Lyon raised Deckers to "Buy" from "Hold" and lifted its price target to $80 from $55.

The upgrade comes less than a week after Wedbush's Corrina Freedman increased the company's rating to "Outperform" from "Neutral" and boosted its price target to $74 from $54.

Deckers Outdoor Corp., based in Goleta, Calif., makes Ugg boots and Teva sandals.

THE ANALYSIS: Lyon said in a client note that sales of winter boots started to pick up in August, which is a positive sign early in the winter selling season. The analyst said that while the past two winters have been relatively mild, a possible return to colder temperatures and snowy weather this year could turn Deckers' excess inventory into an advantage.

"Deckers is one of the few brands to have inventory on hand to meet intra-quarter demand as most other cold weather brands have tightly managed their inventory in accordance with retailers' cautious ordering patterns," Lyon wrote.

The analyst also said that plans for a cheaper boot targeted at younger consumers should help Deckers draw in shoppers that were possibly priced out of its more expensive boots. The cheaper boots, part of a new category called "I Heart Ugg," are expected to roll out in the fall of 2014.

A Deckers representative did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

SHARE ACTION: The stock climbed $1.51, or 2.3 percent, to $67.43 in afternoon trading. It hit $68.18 earlier in the session, the highest level since April 2012. The shares are up 64 percent for the year to date.