CS First Boston Cuts Linens 'n Things Rating

Analyst Gary Balter is concerned about weaker-than-expected sales for the home-goods furnisher

CS First Boston downgraded Linens 'n Things (LIN ) to hold from buy.

Analyst Gary Balter says the shortfall is a result of weaker than expected sales. He remains cautious on the consumer outlook and says while the company remains an attractive long-term story, near-term visibility is very limited.

He cut the $1.75 2001 EPS estimate to $1.55, and cut the $2.16 2002 estimate to $1.80. He has a $38 12-month target. Balter thinks the stock is pretty close to the bottom, but prefers to see signs of a positive turn before becoming bullish.

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