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A business consultancy, based in London, England, John Sacks' JSA Consultancy Services provides expert, in-depth, information advice and guidance as to how to exploit successfully the office furniture and interiors markets in Europe, North America, Australasia and Japan.

Analyst upgrades Knoll, Steelcase and HNI; downgrades Herman Miller

Tuesday 16 March 2010

An analyst raised his ratings on three office furniture companies Tuesday, citing improving industry demand.
Budd Bugatch of Raymond James said in a client note that the sector is still under pressure as the economy continues to recover, but \"signs are beginning to emerge that suggest there may be some light at the end of the tunnel.\" This includes moderating job losses and better corporate profits driven mostly by cost cuts.
Bugatch upgraded Knoll Inc. to \"Strong Buy\" from \"Outperform,\" Steelcase Inc. to \"Strong Buy\" from \"Market Perform\" and HNI Corp. to \"Outperform\" from \"Market Perform.\"
Knoll\'s stock added 39 cents, or 3.2 percent, to $12.77 in afternoon trading. It reached a 52-week high of $13.08 earlier in the session.
Shares of Steelcase gained 37 cents, or 5.3 percent, to $7.42, while HNI\'s stock added $1.18, or 4.6 percent, to $26.65.
Bugatch also downgraded Herman Miller Inc. to \"Market Perform\" from \"Outperform,\" as its stock has performed better than its peers recently and likely has little room for upside. Still, the analyst said he likes Herman Miller because of its \"excellent management, innovative design and lean manufacturing.\"
The company\'s stock fell 60 cents, or 3 percent, to $19.49.

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