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Banc of America Lowers Kenneth Cole Opinion

Banc of America downgraded Kenneth Cole (KCP) to market performer from buy.

Analyst Susan Silverstein says she's surprised by the extent of the shortfall. She cut the $1.85 2001 EPS to $1.22, and cut the $2.15 2002 to $1.40. She believes these issues are pressuring results: 1) department store footwear business is slow; 2) larger, newer stores are not seeing a sales ramp, which is causing operating leverage pressure; 3) moderated licensing business given the slow department store traffic; 4) signs for the back-half turn are not encouraging.

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