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Bernstein Upgrades Wal-Mart to Outperform

Sanford Bernstein Research upgrades Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) to outperform from market perform.

Analyst Emme Kozloff says the upgrade is on the potential bankruptcy of Kmart. She says that store closings from Kmart's restructuring offers Wal-Mart market share potential, a less price competitive environment than in the last six months. Kozloff says that this will give Wal-Mart opportunity to take market share above and beyond what she expected. She notes that the last six months have been about Kmart taking on Wal-Mart with its "blue light always" program. She raises here $1.72 2002 EPS estimate to $1.75. She sees opportunity to drive Wal-Mart stock out of its rigid trading range. The analyst sets a $65 target.

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