Markets & Finance

CS First Boston Upgrades Winn-Dixie to 'Neutral'

Credit Suisse First Boston upgraded Winn-Dixie Stores (WIN) to neutral from underperform.

Analyst Jack Murphy says he is upgrading solely on valuation. He notes the stock has fallen below his $12 target, and says the enterprise value is 3.8 times his $512 million calendar 2003 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization estimate -- a 21% discount to the group average of 4.8.

Murphy thinks the grocery chain's guidance and estimates remain at risk. However, he says the stock has underperformed the S&P 500 by 20.5 percentage points since it posted second quarter results on Jan. 29. He notes, after this dramatic move, the risks of Winn-Dixie are to the risks of the broader supermarket group, which he rates as underweight. Murphy is maintaining his $1.36 fiscal 2003 (June) earnings per share and $1.44 fiscal 2004 estimates.

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