What happened

Shares of Designer Brands (NYSE:DBI) rose 82.4% in November, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. The footwear retail company's stock gained ground thanks to positive coverage from analysts, news of effective coronavirus vaccines, and record momentum for the broader market in the month.

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^SPX data by YCharts

The coronavirus pandemic has been very hard on companies in the brick-and-mortar retail industry, and Designer Brands is no exception. The business's outlook improved thanks to the announcement of multiple highly effective coronavirus vaccines in November, and the beaten-down stock recorded a month of big gains.  

A chart line going up over arrows also pointing up as a businessman points to the tallest arrow.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Designer Brands also appears to have gotten a boost early last month thanks to analyst ratings upgrades. Susquehanna's Sam Poser published a note on the company on Nov. 3, raising his stock rating from "negative" to "neutral" and giving it a one-year price target of $4.30 per share. UBS analyst Jay Sole then initiated coverage on the stock with a note published on Nov. 9, giving the stock a "neutral" rating and a price target of $6 per share. 

Now what

Designer Brands stock has continued to climb early in December's trading. The company's share price is up roughly 2% in the month so far. 

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^SPX data by YCharts

Designer Brands could face a tough road to recovery even if vaccines pave the way for recovery in the broader retail space next year. The business was struggling before the coronavirus pandemic, and the retail space will likely be highly competitive even if it rebounds in the not-too-distant future. On the other hand, the company trades at depressed levels and may be worth a look for investors seeking value stocks capable of delivering strong returns if business performance comes in better than anticipated. 

Designer Brands has a market capitalization of roughly $595 million based on today's stock prices and trades at roughly a quarter of this year's expected sales. The company is scheduled to report third-quarter earnings before the market opens on Dec. 9.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.