Banc of America upgraded Linens'n Things (LIN) to buy from market perform.
Analyst Arum Rubinson says the home-goods retailer is too cheap to ignore. While the execution has hardly narrowed the gap with Bed Bath & Beyond, he believes Linens in executing better than it did this time last year. He notes Linens' most salient point in that regard is its in-stock position.
Rubinson says recent store visits have confirmed Linens is now operating with in-stocks that may be as much as 10 points higher than last year. He notes, a better inventory position is likely to provide a cushion to sales in an otherwise weak macro environment. He sees $1.52 2002 earnings per share estimate of $1.65 for 2003. Rubinson has a $23 target.