Prudential Cuts AnnTaylor Stores to Underweight

From Standard & Poor's Equity Research

Prudential downgraded AnnTaylor Stores (ANN) to underweight from neutral, after the company posted second quarter results on Friday.

The company posted 59 cents vs. 10 cents second quarter earnings per share (EPS) according to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. Analyst Stacy Pak does not think it gets much better than this, so she downgrades. She notes the company's second quarter EPS came out 6 cents above her 53 cents estimate, and 14 cents EPS above the consensus. She says AnnTaylor increased its $1.70 to $1.75 fiscal year 2007 (ending Jan.) EPS guidance to $2.05-$2.10 vs. the $1.96 consensus. She cut her 67 cents third quarter EPS estimate to 59 cents, and raises her 47 cents fourth quarter EPS estimate to 48 cents. She maintains her $2.20 fiscal year 2007 (ending Jan) EPS estimate and her $2.50 fiscal year 2008 EPS estimate. She keeps a $36 stock price target.

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