NEW YORK — Citing Kmart’s “perilously close to break-even” third-quarter operating profits, analyst Barry Bryant of Ladenburg Thalmann & Co. downgraded the stock to “hold” from “buy.”
Kmart, the third most active issue on the New York Stock Exchange Tuesday, declined 7/8 to 14 3/4.
“It’s not a good apparel season, particularly for discount merchants,” Barry said, adding that Kmart’s 24-cent quarterly dividend could be jeopardized if operating profits do not improve over the next year or so.
Dean Witter Reynolds also lowered its rating on the discounter, citing concern about the possibility of a dividend cut. Kmart posted earnings of 8 cents a share, against operating income of 22 cents a year ago, excluding discontinued operations.
— Fairchild News Service

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