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DB Alex. Brown Sweetens Krispy Kreme Rating

DB Alex. Brown upgraded Krispy Kreme(KREM) to strong buy from buy.

Analyst John Glass says the baked goods company materially beat estimates and guided up its earnings well beyond expectations. He still believes estimates are conservative and sees $0.77 fiscal 2002 (Jan.) EPS, and $1.00 for fiscal 2003.

Glass says the margin story is beginning to unfold. He notes the company achieved margin expansion despite expected comparison moderation suggesting the true profit potential of this company. He sees a dilutive impact from big new-store openings.

Other catalysts: accretive buybacks of old franchises, continued new market entries, and Thursday's NYSE listing.

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