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SWS Cuts Blockbuster to 'Market Outperform'

SWS Securities downgraded Blockbuster (BBI) to market outperform from strong buy.

Analyst Harry Katica says the company has experienced a significant slowing of movie rentals since Thanksgiving, as consumers are attracted to the discounted prices offered by mass merchants on new DVD titles. He cut his $1.32 2002 earnings per share estimate to $1.05, and cut the $1.51 2003 estimate to $1.25.

While he believes the exaggerated trade-off from rental to purchases is a temporary phenomenon, Katica says it will take several quarters to see how the trend develop

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