Analyst Margaret Whitfield says the market is unforgiving. She notes while Talbots' core customer sales were close to plan, volume from less frequent shoppers was off substantially. Although she rates the shares as buy, Whitfeld says she is disappointed by the collapse of the stock Thursday, and thinks the stock will tread water until further clarification on comp-store sales growth.
Whitfeld cut her $2.30 fiscal 2003 (Jan.) earnings per share estimate to $2.00, and cut the $2.55 fiscal 2004 estimate to $2.25. She also cut her price target to $32. She notes the retailer has indicated that the West Coast port closures won't have an impact on its fall and holiday season.