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Thomas Weisel cut Landry's Restaurants (LNY
) to peer perform from outperform.
Analyst Skip Carpenter says he downgraded to reflect a more conservative view following the news that the CFO resigned. Given that Landry's has a strong track record of maintaining extremely low management turnover at both executive and operational levels, he notes the sudden resignation of Paul West is a surprise.
Other concerns include current unfavorable cost pressure environment for the restaurant sector, very challenging back-half 2004 same-store sales comparisons for Landry's business, and strong stock performance with the stock up 17% year to date. Carpenter sees $2.04 2004 EPS and $2.23 for 2005.