UPDATE 1-RESEARCH ALERT-Banc of America cuts Best Buy
(Changes source; adds details)
March 4 (Reuters) - Banc of America downgraded top electronics retailer Best Buy Co Inc (BBY.N: Cotización) to "neutral" from "buy," and said lackluster demand for televisions in the second half of 2008 will create oversupply, pressuring gross margins.
Banc of America analyst David Strasser, who cut his price target on the stock to $41 from $47, believes Best Buy's comparable-store sales will stagnate in the first half of 2008 as consumers' appetite for big-ticket purchases will reduce in the face of a challenging macroeconomic backdrop.
Strasser said the brokerage was bullish on TV demand last year, but the absence of new TV technology will hurt sales this year.
He also cut his fiscal-year 2009 earnings-per-share estimate on the company to $3.20 from $3.30. (Reporting by Biswarup Gooptu in Bangalore; Editing by Pratish Narayanan)
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