) to overweight from equal-weight.
Analyst William Chappell says a stronger outlook for the holiday sales season, combined with the company's continuing rollout of open sell stores, and the expansion of its miniatures program, will boost sales over the Christmas season. He notes potential margin expansion, upside potential to his estimates, a recently improved float, and reduced leverage. He also expects further debt reduction.
Chappell cut the 48 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share estimate to 43 cents, to account for the near-term dilutive effect of its stock offering. He is keeping his $1.16 fiscal 2005 (Jan.) earnings per share estimate. Chappell pegged s $24 to $27 12-month valuation range.