Markets & Finance

Raymond James Cuts Stanley Furniture Rating

Raymond James downgraded Stanley Furniture (STLY) to market perform from strong buy.

Analyst Budd Bugatch says his downgrade comes on the heels of the stock's recent upward climb, with shares up about 35% since Jan. 1, vs. a market move of 15%. He notes his only reservation about downgrading now is that the company is at the headwaters of a stream of improving sales and earnings.

Bugatch says in the second quarter, the furniture maker's sales advanced by 11%, management's best-case guidance for third-quarter sales growth is 6%, and earnings per share guidance is 55 cents to 57 cents. He notes his third-quarter estimates are higher than guidance, projecting an 8% sales gain, and 60 cents earnings per share.

But Bugatch notes the shares are very near his previous $33 target.

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