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Shares of The Container Store Group (NYSE:TCS) jumped nearly 14% Friday following an upgrade from analysts at Bank of America's Merril Lynch.
Why it's happening
Specifically, analyst Denise Chai upgraded shares of the specialty retailer all the way from underperform to buy, while simultaneously increasing her per share price target from $14 to $24. Chai cited valuation after a 60%+ year-to-date plunge, and is convinced concerns over negative foot traffic and recent earnings disappointments are thoroughly baked into The Container Store's share price. And though Chai's near-term outlook remains cautious, she also points out potential long-term upside from initiatives -- discussed by fellow Fool Micah Robinson in more detail here -- which show promise in driving comparable-store sales and earnings higher in the coming years.
The upgrade also comes on the heels of last week's news that activist investor Apex Capital had taken a 4.5% stake in The Container Store. Apex plans to begin pushing the chain to implement faster store growth and tighter cost controls, which it thinks could drive 15% revenue annual revenue growth for the next decade.
In the end, whether Apex's plan comes to fruition remains to be seen. But given the combination of that and The Container Store's own initiatives, I think the market is rightly excited by the prospects of this promising brand.