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Winn-Dixie Shares Slip after Analyst Downgrades

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The price of stock in Winn-Dixie, Inc. sank to a 52-week low yesterday, following an analyst's downgrade related to the uncertain economy.

Friedman, Billings, Ramsey analyst Karen Short downgraded the stock to "Market Perform" from "Outperform" based on the belief that Winn-Dixie's customers will spend less during the months ahead, according to an Associated Press report.

"We believe the Winn-Dixie customer will modify purchase behavior in the next 12 to 18 months and believe this could negatively impact sales," Short wrote in a note.

She estimated that revenue may be weak when Winn-Dixie reports fiscal second-quarter earnings next week, and also suggested that the retailer's expectations are too high for the third and fourth quarters.

Shares fell $2.12, or 12.7 percent, to $14.66, during midday trading after earlier trading at a 52-week low of $14.60. The stock closed yesterday at $14.82, which was down 11.68 percent from Monday.
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