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B. Riley Upgrades West Marine to 'Buy'


B. Riley upgraded West Marine (WMAR) to buy from neutral.

Analyst Ian Corydon says May same-store sales fell only 1.5%, vs. West Marine's guidance of a 2%-3% drop, and his forecast for a mid-single-digit drop. He had expected same-store sales to be worse than West Marine's guidance because May weather was wetter than normal across most of its markets. However, he was surprised by the actual May number, which represented West Marine's best same-store sales results in many months.

He notes better than expected May performance came despite the struggling economy, and less than ideal weather. Corydon is keeping his $1.03 second-quarter earnings per share, and $1.16 for 2003, and $1.55 for 2004 estimates.


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