T. Weisel Lowers Peet's Coffee to 'Peer Perform'

Analyst Skip Carpenter says the downgrade reflects unlikely earnings upside for the coffee chain

Thomas Weisel downgraded Peet's Coffee & Tea (PEET ) to peer perform from outperform.

Analyst Skip Carpenter says the downgrade reflects: unlikely 2003 earnings per share upside; a lower 2004 earnings per share outlook; and current valuation of the shares. He thinks management is formulating slightly different growth algorithm that will significantly better position the business for 2005 and beyond. He believes investors should now expect stronger 2004 revenue growth, but a change in the company's ability to facilitate further operating margin expansion.

As a result, Carpenter he raised the 16% revenue growth estimate to 18%, but cut the 79 cents 2004 earnings per share estimate to 70 cents.

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