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CS First Boston Keeps 'Buy' on Great Atlantic & Pacific

Credit Suisse First Boston kept its buy rating on Great Atlantic & Pacific (GAP).

Analyst Jack Murphy says the stock has been under pressure in the last two days -- down 19%. While a negative report from grocery rival Kroger will have negative implications for national chains, Murphy says the company has little exposure to increased competition from Kroger, and little exposure to responses by Safeway, Wal-Mart and Albertson's. He sees the start of an EPS recovery for the company, and notes the recent strengthening of managment. Murphy says the company's report of its store closing program will support EPS recovery; and valuation compensates for risk. He narrowed his $0.05 fiscal 2002 (Feb.) loss estimate to a $0.02 loss; and raised $0.55 fiscal 2003 to $0.59. He has a $29 target.

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