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Prudential downgraded Sara Lee (SLE
) to hold.
Analyst John McMillin says although he expected weak third quarter top-line trends, fourth quarter earnings per share guidance was worse than he imagined. He says the bakery charge is a factor, but other areas like foodservice and apparel are weaker than expected.
McMillin cut the $1.60 fiscal 2003 (June) earnings per share estimate to $1.50, and cut the $1.75 fiscal 2004 estimate to $1.62. He also cut the $25 target to $20.