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Analyst ups Quiksilver rating as new CEO named

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of Quiksilver rose to their highest point in more than a year Friday as Goldman Sachs boosted its rating and price target now that the surf-and-skate-inspired clothing and shoe company is under new leadership.

THE SPARK: On Thursday Quiksilver Inc. announced that Andy Mooney, who has worked at both Disney and Nike Inc., would become president and CEO next week. He succeeds Quiksilver founder Bob McKnight, who is becoming the company's executive chairman.

Mooney worked most recently as chairman of Disney Consumer Products, overseeing its worldwide licensing, publishing and retail business. Before that he worked for Nike Inc. for 20 years in a variety of leadership positions.

THE BIG PICTURE: Quiksilver, which owns Roxy, DC and its namesake brand, had been struggling with slower sales due to the tough economy and stiff competition.

Quiksilver has increased marketing, cut staff, lowered expenses and made some top management changes.

THE ANALYSIS: Goldman Sachs analyst Taposh Bari lifted Quiksilver to "Buy" from "Neutral" and increased its price target to $6.50 from $4.

"We believe (Mooney's) combination of product knowledge and operational expertise offers a unique skill set for Quiksilver," the analyst wrote.

Bari said Mooney's appointment instills more confidence in the company's ability to execute a multi-year turnaround.

SHARE ACTION: Quiksilver's stock gained 33 cents, or 7.3 percent, to $4.86 in afternoon trading. The shares reached $5.06 earlier in the session, the highest level since August 2011.