Pacific Sunwear (NASDAQ:PSUN) announced its December same-store sales figures, and if its stock price is any indication, investors remain in a wait-and-see mode.

Comps decreased 3.2% year over year. PacSun stores contributed with a 2.1% decline, while its demo units dropped a whopping 9.4%. The company benefited from new store openings, though; total sales across the enterprise were up 3.3%.

I don't see much to get excited about here, but apparently, Piper Jaffray and Bank of America did. Piper upgraded PacSun to a "Market Outperform" rating, while Bank of America upped its price target by $2, to $24. Bank of America also raised the price targets of fellow turnaround stories Aeropostale (NYSE:ARO) and Urban Outfitters (NASDAQ:URBN), maintaining their "Buy" ratings. It's a new year, I guess, and analysts love the come-from-behind turnaround stories.

Problem is, until we see more improvements in all three of these apparel retailers -- and a sustained trend in the right direction, like we saw with Guess? (NYSE:GES) -- I think there's more speculation here than substance. In fairness, though, each firm has its positives.

When I last did an in-depth analysis of PacSun following its quarterly earnings conference call, I noted that one part of its turnaround strategy, to reduce some of the clutter in its stores, makes perfect sense, given the success Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE:ANF) and Guess? have with their floor sets.

Fellow Fool Matthew Crews likes some of the things he's seeing from Aeropostale, including a prudent management team, a solid balance sheet, and growth opportunities. Meanwhile, another Foolish colleague, Alyce Lomax, remains high on Urban Outfitters because of its outstanding growth opportunities.

Even with these upsides, do these stocks truly deserve "buy" ratings? I'm not yet convinced. As one who takes the time to investigate retailers both from a financial standpoint and at the store level, I believe that until these concepts juice up their merchandise, they will continue to be outgunned by the likes of Abercrombie, Guess?, and American Eagle Outfitters (NASDAQ:AEOS).

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Fool contributor Jeremy MacNealy has a CAPS rating of 93.60 and is ranked 1,235 out of 19,281 participants. He has no financial interest in any company mentioned. Bank of America is an Income Investor recommendation. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.