) said it expects fiscal second quarter volume, sales, and EPS growth to be at the upper end of guidance, pushing shares of the company higher. Lehman, meantime, upgraded the stock to strong buy from market perform.
Analyst Ann Gillin Lefever says the company is beginning to deliver sustainable EPS growth, driven mostly by improvement in unit growth. While she expects a portion of cost savings to continue to be reinvested in growth initiatives, she adds roughly 2.5% FY 02 (Jun.) year-over-year unit growth increment flows through leaner cost structure, driving double-digit core EPS growth in the second half of fiscal year 2002.
She raises her target price for the stock to $95 to reflect historical valuation in periods of sustainable EPS growth.