Ralph Lauren Inc. shares were upgraded to outperform from market perform at Cowen on the potential for initiatives to result in growth and elevation of the brand. Shares are up 1.4% in premarket trading. Ralph Lauren has been pulling back from the wholesale channel in order to raise brand equity. “Checks with our contacts suggest that Ralph Lauren’s brand is stabilizing,” analysts led by John Kernan wrote. After meeting with the company’s executives, including the company’s new Chief Executive Patrice Louvet, analysts say they are more confident that Ralph Lauren is focused on growth, digital and productivity improvements. “Our call could appear early but our confidence in management and cumulative free cash flow of $1.2 billion in fiscal 2019 and 2020 creates cushion,” the note says. Ralph Lauren shares are up 40% for the past year while the S&P 500 index is up 15.5% for the period.