A Wall Street analyst reduced his rating of R.H. Donnelley stock (NYSE: RHD) to “sell” from “hold,” and Wall Street followed his lead Friday.

Shares in the Cary-based yellow pages and web directory publisher plummeted another 23 percent Friday just ahead of the market close. The $7.17 price – down $2.17 from the open – is a record low for the stock, according to Reuters.

By the close of trading the stock ended up down $2.25, or 24 percent, to close at $7.09.

The bottom of RHD shares fell out on Thursday, with the stock dropping 47 percent to $9.34. The sellout came after RHD cut its financial forecast for 2008 and also announced that the president of its interactive division was leaving. RHD also said it would not pay a dividend as it had pledged to do.

Analyst Paul Ginocchio of Deutsche Bank put a “sell” rather than “hold” on the stock.

"Things got worse very quickly, and believing in the online offset is harder," analyst Paul Ginocchio wrote in a note to clients, according to Reuters. He noted that Jake Winebaum quitting the interactive post would impact negatively on RHD’s moves into online publishing.

"We see limited ability to reduce paper, printing and distribution costs without impacting usage, thus R.H. Donnelley seems to face very difficult decisions ahead," he added.

He cut his target price for the stock as well to $5 from $25.

RHD is one of the largest publicly traded companies based in North Carolina and employs more than 2,100 people.

In recent months, Donnelley shares have plummeted in value from a high of $84.49 as competition has increased for advertising dollars, especially in printed directories vs. online opportunities.

Winebaum was the founder and chief executive officer of Business.com when Donnelley bought the company last July for $345 million in cash.