) to underweight from hold.
Analyst Andrew Wolf tells salesforce third-quarter core earnings per share of 4 cents was below his 15 cents estimate and consensus' 13 cents. He adds systemwide sales rose just 4.7%, down significantly from gains of 14.8% in the second quarter and 24.2% in the first quarter. Systemwide same-store sales decreased 6.4%, also decelerating materially from increases of 0.1% in the second quarter, and 4% in the first quarter.
He cuts his 70 cents fiscal 2005 (Jan.) earnings-per-share estimate to 45 cents, and his 80 cents fiscal 2006 to 45 cents. Wolf notes the company also said it would not meet its Oct. 31 deadline for issuing its third-quarter 10-Q because a special committee is not done with an investigation of matters related to the SEC's formal investigation of the company.