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H&M Shares Rise on Morgan Stanley Rating

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H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB B (ST:HMb) has seen its outlook raised by analysts again after the fast fashion giant posted a better-than-expected profit in the first quarter.

Analysts at Morgan Stanley bumped up their rating to equal-weight from underweight, citing margin improvements at the Swedish firm that helped offset weaker top-line growth.

It marks the latest in a series of upgrades for H&M, with analysts at Danske Bank and Credit Suisse also recently lifting their respective ratings of the stock.

Shares in the company edged higher in early European trading on Wednesday.

Last week, H&M reported a surprise income for the three months ended on February 28 of SEK 725 million (SEK 1 = $0.0973). Bloomberg estimates had seen the figure slumping to a loss of SEK 1.03B.

Quarterly gross margin of 47.2% dipped versus the first quarter of 2022 due to elevated purchasing costs and a strong U.S. dollar, although it still topped projections of 45.8%.

Meanwhile, sales moved up by 3% year-on-year on a local currency basis to SEK 54.87B, but the uptick was below Bloomberg forecasts of 4.21%.

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