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Wachovia Ups Pep Boys Rating

Wachovia hiked its investment recommendation on The Pep Boys - Manny, Moe & Jack (PBY) to market perform from underperform, convinced that the car parts retailer's stock price has already hit bottom.

Analyst Ralph Jean believes Pep Boys has reached his projected $9 to $12 valuation range, which is based solely on the company's real estate portfolio and existing asset base, assigning a theoretical value of zero to Pep Boys' actual business operations. Jean says investors willing to buy shares now will receive a call option on the fundamental business at little to no cost. The company continues to have low visibility into the turnaround of its operations and expects results to remain choppy with potentially more deterioration of its fundamental business, Jean said. He found Pep Boys' recently announced second quarter results disappointing, given that it is typically the strongest seasonally.

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