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Morgan Keegan Downgrades Haverty Furniture

Morgan Keegan downgraded Haverty Furniture (HVT) to underperform from market perform, citing the stock's valuation.

Analyst Laura Champine notes that the company's shares are up around 15% year to date. She anticipates only moderate earnings growth going forward, and says the company's 30 cents fourth quarter earnings per share (EPS) was a penny below the consensus and a penny above her estimate, due to items below the operating line. She ups her 12 cents first quarter earnings per share (EPS) estimate to 17 cents to reflect her reduced assumption for Selling General & Administrative expense as a percentage of revenue, but she lowers her 2.2% first quarter sales growth estimate to 1.5% due to one less store opening than initially expected. For 2006, she ups her 68 cents EPS estimate to 76 cents, but cuts her 5% sales growth estimate to 4%.

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