Skip to main content

WR Hambrecht




move to appoint Dale Hilpert as chief executive "very positive news for the company."

While the firm said the appointment of Hilpert will help Williams-Sonoma regain credibility with the investment community, Hambrecht doesn't expect immediate results.

The firm held its neutral rating on Williams-Sonoma, saying it was comfortable with its estimate of 75 cents in the fourth quarter, down from the 82 cents in the year-ago period. The company has projected earnings of 75 cents to 80 cents a share. Williams-Sonoma is scheduled to report earnings in mid-March.

"We maintain our current 2001 EPS estimate of $1.25, but we lack confidence in our estimate as we await better visibility," the firm wrote in a research note. "The company is faced with tough year-ago comp sales comparisons in the first half -- 9% and 7.1% for (the first and second quarters of 2001) respectively, which keeps us on the sidelines for the near-term."

Scroll to Continue

TheStreet Recommends

The firm said that while the new chief executive is a "step in the right direction," it has concerns about merchandise issues and will remain cautious on Williams-Sonoma until it receives better guidance from the company.

Shares of Williams-Sonoma gained $2, or 8%, to $26.90 at the end of

New York Stock Exchange





named Matthew D. Serra president and chief executive to

replace Hilpert, who resigned to join housewares retailer Williams-Sonoma. J. Carter Bacot took over as nonexecutive chairman of Venator.