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Lehman Crops Vitesse Rating

Lehman Brothers downgraded Vitesse Semiconductor to market perform from buy.

Analyst Arnab Chanda says revenues are in line, but gross margins declined 610 basis points sequentially. He says further downside is likely but Vitesse, with its product mix, diversification and expense control, is likely to emerge stronger than its competition.

He cut the $0.33 calendar 2001 EPS estimate to $0.19, and set $0.21 calendar 2002 EPS. Excluding precipitous demand falloff, Chanda believes the 24% drop in calendar 2001 revenues and a 6% gain in calendar 2002 revenues are starting to reflect reality. He cut the $0.50 fiscal 2001 (Sept.) EPS estimate to $0.41 and set fiscal 2002 EPS of $0.67.

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