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By Robert Brokamp (TMF Bro)
March 17, 2003


It hasn't been a good year for the home-furnishings business. Weak sales have caused shares of Ethan Allen (NYSE: ETH), La-Z-Boy (NYSE: LZB), Restoration Hardware (Nasdaq: RSTO), Stanley Furniture (Nasdaq: STLY), and Furniture Brands (NYSE: FBN) to fall anywhere from 30% to 80% over the past 12 months.

Most companies and analysts don't expect conditions to improve in the near future, and neither does the March index of consumer sentiment. Released last week, the survey found that the number of people planning to make a furniture purchase over the next six months is at its lowest point in a decade.

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