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Raymond James Cuts Tupperware to 'Underperform'

Raymond James downgraded Tupperware (TUP) to underperform from market perform.

Tupperware says it will no longer sell its products in Target stores, and also forecast 22 cents to 23 cents second-quarter earnings per share.

Analyst Budd Bugatch notes the Target strategy was having a detrimental effect on Tupperware's direct sales business, and caused a decline in consumer interest to attend product demonstrations (Tupperware parties). He fears damage to Tupperware's salesforce activity is significant, and may linger for awhile.

Bugatch says management also noted second-quarter North American earnings per share would be 8 cents to 10 cents below expectations, offset partially by positive trends in Europe. He cut the $1.20 2003 earnings per share estimate to $1.06, and cut the $1.64 estimate to $1.55.

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