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UBS Piper Downgrades Huffy to 'Market Perform'

USB Piper downgraded Huffy (HUF) to market perform from outperform.

Analyst Anthony Gikas says sales of key products, including backboards, action sports, and in-line skates continue to fall short of expectations, and will remain a challenge into 2004 as categories lack momentum.

He says conservative retail buying patterns have pressured Huffy's close-out business, and he thinks mass merchants are focused on lower-margin front-line products. Additionally, he thinks Huffy may have greater back-office challenges than he previously thought.

Gikas cut the 37 cents 2003 earnings per share estimate to 8 cents, and trimmed the 50 cents 2004 estimate to 25 cents. He also reduced the price target, to $5 from $7.

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