FINANCE

Jones Apparel Stock Jumps, Polo Falls

BY CSA STAFF

New York City, Jones Apparel Group shares rallied today, following a bullish brokerage call that highlighted improving sales and suggested a future windfall after the clothing maker won a legal victory last week in its license dispute with Polo Ralph Lauren Corp.

Earlier this afternoon, investment bank Lazard Freres announced an upgrade of the Jones Apparel rating from “Hold” to “Buy” and increased its price target on the company from $34 to $39. The stock is down 8% so far this year.

Last Thursday Jones received a favorable ruling from an appellate court, which upheld a lower court decision that ruled in favor of Jones in its $550 million breach-of-contract suit against Polo Ralph Lauren. Shares of Polo Ralph Lauren stumbled today, pressured by a downgrade from Prudential, which cited the liability of the Jones lawsuit as a reason for concern about its stock price.

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May Names John Dunham Chairman and CEO

BY CSA STAFF

St. Louis, May Department Stores has tapped John Dunham as its permanent chairman and CEO, prior to the retailer’s $11 billion acquisition by rival Federated Department Stores Inc. Dunham already had been May’s president, and had assumed the duties of acting chairman and CEO upon the Jan. 14 resignation of Gene Kahn. The executive appointment was revealed in a filing this week with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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FINANCE

Hastings Delays Report

BY CSA STAFF

Amarillo, Texas, Hastings Entertainment Inc. on Friday delayed the release of its fourth-quarter and full-year earnings by three days so the company can make changes to the way it accounts for store leases. It will release its earnings on Thursday. Hastings operates 150 stores in the West and Midwest.

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