BB&T reiterates its strong buy rating on Culp (CFI ).
Analyst Joel Havard says first-quarter results are better than his expectations. He notes, although total revenues fell, mattress ticking sales rose 4.6%, vs. his estimate of a 5% decline. He says he's encouraged by mattress ticking results as the bedding industry normally leads the home-furnishings industry out of a down cycle. He notes Haverty Furniture and Leggett & Platt also provided positive bedding data points in the past few months.
Havard believes it's too early to call a trend, however, he thinks Culp is heading in the right direction. He sees 53 cents fiscal 2004 (April) earnings per share, and 95 cents earnings per share in fiscal 2005. He has a $9 12-month target.