New York, NY, April 25, 2013 -- Analyst Stifel Nicolaus has upgraded share of Lumber Liquidators to a "hold" after the firm's recent first quarter report.
"We have been forced to re-think our assumptions behind the sell rating on LL in light of the company's continuing performance on multiple metrics," the firm said.
Among the factors cited for the upgrade were:
Rising lumber costs may actually be helping Lumber Liquidators because the company sources less domestic wood than most of its competition, and isn't being hit as hard by inflation;
Samples in units were up dramatically in the quarter, which implies there is sales strength heading into second quarter;
The firm was able to command higher prices;
Accessories, a higher margin segment, made up a higher percentage of sales;
The company is increasing its advertising budget as a percentage of sales.
"LL put up fabulous results in what we believe is still a lackluster environment for the repair and remodel segment in general." Stifel said.