Oppenheimer upgraded A.C. Moore Arts & Crafts (ACMR
) to buy from hold, citing possibilities surrounding the retailer's expected management shuffle by the end of 2006.
Analyst Bernard Sosnick says Chief Executive Officer Parker is to retire by the end of 2006. President Larry Fine has been groomed for the slot, but the company's dismal 2005 performance probably weakened Fine's claim to that position. Although someone with fresh management ideas might be the best thing for the company, the analyst thinks that bringing in an outsider would risk a potentially destabilizing culture clash. He thinks principal shareholders might be unwilling to accept the risks of bringing in an outsider, hence, might prefer the option of selling the company. He assumes shares could be sold for a price north of $20.