A&P Stock Rises on Analyst Report

MONTVALE, N.J. -- Shares of the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. here shot up more than 16 percent yesterday after Merrill Lynch raised its rating to "neutral" from "sell."

Merrill Lynch said it expects price wars to lose steam in A&P's main New York/New Jersey metropolitan area market, where the chain operates stores under the A&P, Waldbaum's, and The Food Emporium banners. "The underlying business is still weak, but probably past the worst, and the stock is theoretically cheap," analyst Melanie Begelman-Sosland said in a research note.

Shares of A&P jumped $1.49, or 16.3 percent, to $10.63 in midday trading on the New York Stock Exchange as a result of the report.

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