) to strong buy from buy.
On Thursday the furniture maker posted 45 cents, vs. 41 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share. Analyst Joel Havard says the results came in better than his forecast. He cut the $1.93 fiscal 2004 (April) earnings per share estimate to $1.78, and upped the $2.32 fiscal 2005 to $2.20 as Havard enters a seasonally weak summertime. However, a strong free-cash flow profile, a meaningful operating leverage in a recovery scenario, and a four million share repurchase authorization provide what he thinks is a cushion to his estimates.
Havard thinks the attractive valuation, particularly relative to the group, warrants a $21 target rise to $25.