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DB Alex. Brown Raises Estimates on PetCo

Deutsche Bank Alex. Brown raised estimates on PetCo (PETC).

Analyst Dan Wewer says first quarter earnings per share beat his estimate by $0.03. He sees $0.14 second quarter EPS, raised his $0.81 fiscal 2003 (Jan.) estimate to $0.84, and upped the $1.00 fiscal 2004 estimate to $1.02.

Wewer notes comparable sales, or sales at stores open for more than one year, grew 9.3% on top of a 7.7% gain a year ago. He thinks the Street will reward PetCo for such a consistently robust comps track record.

Wewer also says the company achieved a number of important milestones that support his strong buy rating including expanding operating margins, better inventory management, rising return on investment capital, and a significantly strengthened balance sheet.

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