) to market perform from buy.
Analyst Stephen Chick says the company brought down its EPS guidance more than he had anticipated, citing the struggling pharmacy-drug business in six core markets, front-end pressures due to tough seasonal sales and competitive pressures from Rite Aid Drugs and Eckerd. Chick notes CVS continues to pursue new market entries; but he thinks its plate is too full and he's worried that trends may deteriorate further.
Chick doesn't think he's seen the last downward EPS estimate revision, and believes the company may stretch themselves even further during the next 12 months. He now sees 2001 EPS at $1.90, with the potential for downside risks.