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Citigroup Upgrades BJ'S Wholesale to 'Outperform'

Citigroup upgraded BJ'S Wholesale Club (BJ) to outperform from in-line.

Analyst Deborah Weinswig says she's raising the $1.28 fiscal 2004 (Jan.) earnings per share estimate to $1.35, and is upping the $1.42 fiscal 2005 estimate to $1.55. She's also raising her $17 target to $22. Weinswig based the upgrade and new estimates on 1) club appearance initiatives, including "Club of the Future" upgrades, and club remodels; 2) merchandising initiatives; 3) the cheapness of the stock on an absolute and relative basis.

Weinswig thinks the worst is almost over, and BJ's is gaining traction via increased frequency of store visits, and larger average ticket sizes. She thinks fiscal 2004 is mainly a year of investment, and that fiscal 2005 will start to bring improvements in sales and margin trends.

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