Family Dollar falls after analysts express opposite views

theflyonthewall.com

Two research firms expressed different opinions on Family Dollar (FDO) in notes to investors earlier today. Deutsche Bank upgraded the stock to Buy from Hold, while Citigroup downgraded the shares to Neutral from Buy. Fears about future declines in the discount retailer's margins have probably peaked, according to Deutsche Bank analyst Paul Trussell. The company's selling, general and administrative expenses disappointed investors in the first quarter of the company's fiscal year, but investors are now well aware of the headwinds that caused the situation and the problems should ease going forward, Trussell believes. Meanwhile, fears about a price war among dollar store companies is overdone, and Family Dollar is taking market share from Wal-Mart (WMT), according Deutsche's analyst, who added that Family Dollar has begun to benefit from tax refunds. Trussell expects the company's same-store sales to rise 4.3% in the second half of the year and he set a $71 price target on the shares. Conversely, Citigroup analyst Deborah Weinswig expects Family Dollar to have more difficulty beating analysts' earnings expectations going forward. The retailer's margins are likely to be hurt by stronger sales of less profitable items, according to the Citi analyst. Moreover, Family Dollar's "single store format" is hurting the company's ability to compete against Dollar General (DG), which has two expanded store formats, Weinswig wrote. She trimmed her price target on Family Dollar to $65 from $69. In mid-morning trading, Family Dollar fell 95c, or 1.5%, to $60.80.