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TheStreet Notes: A Daily Briefing of Wall Street Research and Analyst Actions

Second Edition


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TickerWatch
Second Edition
HOMS LOR
First Edition
AFCE AMZN AWE CSGS FBF GIS KFT PFE TIF VG WITS ZLC

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Change In Ratings | Stock Comments / EPS Changes | Strategy Calls / Market Calls | Economics | Meetings | View Archived StreetNotes


AFC Enterprises (AFCE / Nasdaq)
Salomon Smith Barney
Initiating coverage with a Buy rating and $34 target. Parent company of Popeyes Chicken, Church's chicken, Cinnabon and Seattle Coffee Company.

Homestore.com (HOMS / Nasdaq)
Goldman Sachs
Downgrade to Neutral from Outperform. Lack visibility into accounting inquiry announced late Friday. Ad shortfall expected to be greater.

Viasystems Group (VG / NYSE)
Bear Stearns
Downgrading Buy to Neutral; another preannouncement; still within Q4 debt covenants.

Witness Systems (WITS / Nasdaq)
Piper Jaffray
Upgrade from Neutral to Outperform. Strong quarterly traction, solid pipeline. Likely to meet or exceed estimates. Near-term target $15. 12-18 month target $18-20.

Zale Corporation (ZLC / NYSE)
Goldman Sachs
Upgrade from Neutral to Outperform. Raising 2002 EPS to $2.85 from $2.80. Better than expected holiday results. Cost cutting opportunities. Weakened competitive landscape. Target $46.

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Amazon.com (AMZN / Nasdaq)
Piper Jaffray
Continued holiday strength. Expected to meet or beat estimates. Reiterate Outperform.

AT&T Wireless Services (AWE / NYSE)
NEWS
company said T sold its remaining stake in its former mobile-phone unit for $1.4 billion.

CSG Systems International (CSGS / Nasdaq)
JP Morgan Chase & Co.
announced acquisuition on Monday of Lucent's billing systems for $300m and hosted a conference call. long term growth rates (03 and beyond) are expected to accelerate, rev growth 20%-25% vs prev 15%-20%, EPS growth 25%-28% vs prev 15%-20%.

FleetBoston Financial (FBF / NYSE)
Bear Stearns
maintaining attractive, $3.20 EPS estimate for 2002, and $41 target price. Argentina halted payments on debt, which we estimate could cost Fleet Boston $0.11 to $0.29 per share in additional writedowns. We also estimate that the bank's Latin American operations could contribute $0.05 to $0.10 less in 2002 EPS.

General Mills (GIS / NYSE)
Prudential Securities
Maintain buy; $55 price target; no real surprises in 2Q earnings except may be the drop in earnings from joint ventures. No surprise to us in company guidance for 3Q. Surprised by higher capital spending estimates. Internal businesses look satisfactory but there is obviously "work to do" on Pillsbury.

Homestore.com (HOMS / Nasdaq)
Piper Jaffray
Announced accounting inquiry by its audit board 12/21 after the close. Expects to restate some finacial results. Halted Friday and remained halted on Monday. Reiterate Underperform.

Kraft Foods (KFT / NYSE)
NEWS
KFT said it purchased the Canadian rights to its Life Savers candy brand from Beta Brands Inc. for the equivalent of $12.3 million

Loral Space & Commun. (LOR / NYSE)
Lehman Bros
Reiterate Strong Buy; Cyberstar debt exchange successful; reducing leverage and cash carrying costs; price target $6.

Pfizer (PFE / NYSE)
NEWS
A federal judge ruled PFE is not liable in the case of a man who committed suicide after taking the company's antidepressant drug Zoloft.

Tiffany & Co. (TIF / NYSE)
Warburg Dillon Read
Strong Buy rated, raising price target $35 to $39. Final December results were actually a bit more positive than preliminary results. Average consumer "confidence" increased +4% -- the highest gain in 6 months.

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Goldman Sachs (Internet)
For week ended 12/24 market-weighted New media coverage fell 4.8% and market-weighted E-commerce average fell 4.2%. Both underperformed the NASDAQ, down 2.2% and S&P 500, up 0.9%. Top gainers: ROOM up 12.2% and TVLY up 11

Salomon Smith Barney (Retail)
Forecasting Sears same-store sales to decline 2%-4%. TGT forecasted as declined 3%-5% unadjusted, sales trending above estimates for 3rd consecutive week. Dec. broadline same-store sales index to increase 1.1%, discount stores +3.2% & dept. stores -3.5%.

Goldman Sachs (Tobacco)
Investors with 6-12 month horizon should avoid putting fresh money in tobacco. Limited p/e expansion potential due to fundamental and litigation reasons. MO and RJR are Outperformers. LTR Recommended, attractive "sum-of-parts" valuation.

NEWS (Oils)
OPEC says it will cut oil exports by 1.5 million barrels even without firm cooperation from Russia.

Goldman Sachs (Retail)
Sales on-plan at most discount and dept. stores for 3rd week of Dec. We bias to high quality growth such as WMT, KM, KSS; S remains our favorite.

Bear Stearns (Sentiment)
Sentiment unch in the middle: SPX 64%, NDX 57%, 5 day moving average 62 and 59%.

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Nothing For Today
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Nothing For Today
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