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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.

Price of Knoll's shares slashed

Sunday 23 March 2008

Shares of Knoll Inc. tumbled Monday after an analyst cut its rating on the office furniture supplier, citing an industrywide slowdown and poor results from an index of nonresidential construction.

Raymond James analyst Budd Bugatch cut Knoll\'s rating to \"Outperform\" from \"Strong Buy\" in a note to investors Monday. Bugatch cut his earnings per share estimate 5.5 percent for the year to $1.55 from $1.64. He also slashed its 12-month price target to $20 from $26.

Bugatch pointed to a \"precipitous\" decline in the AIA Architecture Billings Index, a key indicator of nonresidential construction, as a sign of a slowdown for furniture suppliers.

Knoll\'s positive rating was due to its history of strong performance and its high-end products that typically net big prices, Bugatch said.

\"Long-term history suggests that any weakness should prove relatively modest _ nowhere near the severity of the 2001 to 2002 downturn,\" Bugatch said of the sector.

Shares of Knoll, which is based in East Greenville, Pa., shed 41 cents, or 3.2 percent, to close at $12.49 Monday.

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