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BoA Cuts American Italian to 'Buy'

American Italian Pasta (PLB) Banc of America downgraded to buy from strong buy.

Analyst William Leach says his downgrade was due to recent price strength. He says shares have outperformed almost 40% over the past six months, almost 30% year to date. He notes at current prices shares now are valued at 23 times his 2002 estimate, a 14% premium to S&P, and a 19% premium to its food group. Leach maintains his $2.13 2002 (Sept.) earnings per share estimate, and his $2.50 2003 estimate. He has a $56 target.

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