BB&T Capital upgrades La-Z Boy (LZB) to buy from hold.
Analyst Joel Havard says his upgrade is based on the company's business realignment to better compete in the global residential furniture industry. He notes the company took a $70 million goodwill writedown for its wood operations in the fourth quarter. Then, in its latest quarter, the company announced a plan to close 5 U.S. manufacturing plants in favor of importing most of its casegoods from overseas.
Havard also notes that La-Z Boy shares are at a 7-year low, while the company's dividend is at a 10-year high. He says the upgrade preceeds the release of second-quarter results this evening and a conference call tomorrow. He sees 13 cents second-quarter operating earnings per share, 95 cents fiscal 2005 (Apr.) earnings per share, and $1.45 fiscal 2006 earnings per share. He set an $18 price target on the shares.