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La-Z-Boy rises as 1Q profit tops Street's view

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of La-Z-Boy climbed Wednesday after topping Wall Street profit expectations for its most recent quarter and recharged sales.

THE SPARK: Late Tuesday La-Z-Boy Inc. reported that its earnings more than doubled to $9.6 million, or 18 cents per share, from $4.4 million, or 8 cents per share. Revenue for the period ended July 27 rose 6 percent to $318.9 million from $301.5 million. Analysts surveyed by FactSet forecast earnings of 15 cents per share on revenue of $323 million.

The performance was encouraging, as the quarter is traditionally one of the slower ones for the company.

THE ANALYSIS: Budd Bugatch of Raymond James said that La-Z-Boy continues to build momentum, with earnings and sales improving. The analyst anticipates that the company will continue to see solid demand for its products thanks to steady hiring and a continued housing market recovery.

Every retailer with ties to the housing market have seen business surge along with home sales, including Lowe's, Restoration Hardware, and Home Depot.

Bugatch kept a "Strong Buy" rating and increased La-Z-Boy's price target to $25 from $24.

A representative for La-Z-Boy did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

SHARE ACTION: After a massive plunge during the housing crises, company shares have been climbing steadily and are nearing all-time highs. The stock gained 59 cents, or 2.8 percent, to $21.83 in afternoon trading. The shares have traded between $13.15 and $22.49 over the last year. Year to date, the stock is up 50 percent.