Three favorable press reports have aroused interest in the stock of Garfinckle, Brooks Brothers, Miller and Rhoads and pushed its price up nearly 10 per cent.

A month ago the stock was trading in the $14 to $14.25 range with less than 1,000 shares changing hands daily.

Yesterday the closing quotation on the New York Stock Exchange was $15.50.

Analysts attribute the increased activity to a recent Forbes magazine article which said the stock was under-valued and to stories in The Washington Star and The Washington Post that detailed the company's expansion plans.

The Washington-based retail conglomerate plans to double its sales and profits in the next five years by expanding some of its present operations and acquiring new ones.

Garfinckel acquired the $14 million a year Ann Taylor chain this summer and is negotiating a final agreement to buy Catherine's Stout Shoppes, which had sales of $23.4 million last year.

Combined with a store-for-store sales growth rate of 6 to 8 per cent, the acquisitions would, on an annual basis, result in estimated sales in the $355 million range.

Company officials emphasized Tuesday that these sales estimates will not be met in the current fiscal year which ends in January. Because the Catherine's acquisition is not yet completed and Ann Taylor sales will be included in Garfinckel results for only part of the year, the actual results for fiscal 1977 will be lower.

Garfinckel executives have not made a public estimate of sales or earnings for the year.