Goldman Sachs removed Duke Energy (DUK) from its recommended list, and now rates market perform.
Analyst Jonathan Raleigh says his downgrade was driven by his view that Duke has lost its premium position in the group in investors' eyes. He notes the company's stock is down 39% year to date (vs. a 20% decline in the S&P 500). Raleigh says Duke looks inexpensive at an average valuation vs. its peers. He notes the stock could have more downside until the company addresses several issues including: intensifying concerns of Duke's trading business; affirmation of a lower earnings per share outlook and growth rate; the expected $1 billion equity offering; and diminished investor confidence in management. Raleigh has a $2.50 2002 earnings per share estimate, and $2.65 for 2003.