) to market perform from buy.
On Thursday the company posted a 9.6% May same store-sales decline. Analyst Mercedes Sanchez says the downgrade based on valuation, negative industry trends and aggressive Street estimates for the second half. She notes the same-store sales decline is below her estimate of a 1%-3% decline. In light of May's sales results, she cut the $0.30 Q2 EPS estimate to $0.28, trimmed the $2.00 fiscal 2002 estimate (Jan.) to $1.97, and trimmed the $2.37 fiscal 2003 to $2.34. She believes much of the anticipation over an expected comeback already is built into Ann Taylor's current share price.