JMP Downgrades Buca to 'Market Outperform'

Analyst David Rose says same-store sales continue to disappoint for this operator of casual, Italian-themed restaurants

JMP Securities downgraded Buca (BUCA ) to market outperform from strong buy.

Analyst David Rose says the time horizon for a turnaround may be a little longer than he originally anticipated as same-store restaurant sales continue to disappoint. Rose says while trends are consistent with trends in the number of casual dining concepts, Buca is a bit more dependent on the convention business diner, as well as early-week to mid-week business -- and these businesses seems to be soft.

He cut the $0.69 2002 earnings per share estimate to $0.62, and cut the $0.87 2003 earnings per share estimate to $0.76. Rose also cut his $14 target to $11.

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