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Urban Outfitters up on quarter-to-date data

NEW YORK (AP) -- Urban Outfitters' stock climbed in morning trading on Tuesday a day after the clothing and accessories company said it's off to a strong start over the fiscal first quarter's first two months.

THE SPARK: Late Monday, Urban Outfitters Inc. said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that revenue at stores open at least a year have grown in the high single digits. The Philadelphia company's fiscal first quarter started Feb. 1.

Analysts, on average, expect a 8.9 percent increase, according to FactSet.

Revenue at stores open at least a year is a key gauge of a retailer's health because it excludes results from stores recently opened or closed.

Urban Outfitters owns the Anthropologie, BHLDN, Free People and Terrain brands along with its namesake stores.

THE ANALYSIS: William Blair analyst Sharon Zackfia said in a client note that even though Urban Outfitters lost a selling day due to Easter, that was mostly offset by strong traffic in the week leading up to the holiday.

The analyst said that the company should be able to at least meet her forecast for first-quarter revenue at stores open at least a year to climb 8 percent to 9 percent.

Zackfia maintained an "Outperform" rating.

Adrienne Tennant of Janney Capital Markets said that said she anticipates that the retailer will see its sales continue to ramp up in April, now that Easter is over and warmer weather is likely to be more consistent.

Tennant said that Urban Outfitters' quarter-to-date update is encouraging, because the company seems to be bucking the trend of many other retailers that have so far been hurt by bad weather and the weak economy.

The analyst reaffirmed a "Buy" rating and $48 price target.

A representative for Urban Outfitters could not be immediately reached for comment.

SHARE ACTION: Shares of Urban Outfitters Inc. rose $1.66, or 4.3percent, to $40.07 in late morning trading, after earlier topping out at $40.98. The stock has traded between $25.43 and $44.15 over the past 52 weeks.