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USB Piper Cuts Charlotte Russe Rating

USB Piper downgraded its investment rating on Charlotte Russe (CHIC) to underperform from market perform.

Analyst Jeffrey Klinefelter says he recently completed his sixth "Taking Stock With Teens" research project in which visited 14 high schools in 13 states, one province of Canada surveying nearly 700 students with an average age of 16. He says this Fall survey shows Charlotte Russe fell to 11th place from eighth in the Spring, 2003, survey.

More notable, according to Klinefelter, was the fact that its primary competitor, Forever 21, surged up to sixth. He thinks Charlotte Russe will be unable to compete on pricing with Forever 21, and to compete on fashion with the recent departure of the company's Chief Merchandising Officer.

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