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Salomon Starts AFC at Buy

Salomon Smith Barney initiates coverage of AFC Enterprises (AFCE) with a buy rating and a $34 price target.

Analyst Mark Kalinowski says AFC consists of four parts with features unique in the fast-food restaurant business. Popeye's Chicken & Biscuits (featuring Cajun-style chicken, other items, like jambalaya, that tend to emphasize flavor more than typical fast-food concepts do); Church's Chicken (a deep-value concept specializing in Southern-style chicken, side items, such as okra & honey-butter biscuits); Cinnabon (a leader in specialty baked goods retailing); Seattle Coffee Co. (made up of Seattle's Best Coffee & Torrefazione Italia, a high-end cafe concept). He sees $1.20 2001 EPS, and $1.72 in 2002.

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