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Adams Harkness Upgrades Wild Oats to 'Buy'

Adams Harkness upgraded Wild Oats Markets (OATS) to buy from outperform.

Analyst Scott Van Winkle says the company can meet near-term Street expectations, and says a long-term turnaround is in place. He thinks much of the initial heavy lifting regarding the turnaround has been completed, which reduces risk and lets the company focus on improving the customers' experience. He also says the stock price discounts current weak comparison trends and the lower guidance.

Van Winkle sees significantly more upside with the stock trading at five times the 2003 EBITDA, and expectations of accelerated growth. He reiterates his $12 target. Van Winkle sees 38 cents 2003 earnings per share, and 64 cents for 2004.

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