Markets & Finance

Morgan Keegan Ups RARE Hospitality

Morgan Keegan upped RARE Hospitality International (RARE) to outperform from market perform.

Analyst Robert Derrington cited the stock's attractive valuation, as well as his confidence in the company's ability to refine its brands and remain relevant in a tough consumer environment. He trimmed his $1.53 2005 earnings per share estimate to $1.49, factoring in weaker third quarter same- store sales and higher operating costs (including natural gas). While he thinks earnings per share estimates may require revision in this environment, he thinks long term prospects of a slightly more favorable 2006 commodity environment, more effective marketing, and the 53rd week of operations support his revised $1.80 (cut from $1.88 to reflect higher operating costs) 2006 earnings per share estimate.

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