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Merrill Cuts Jabil Circuit to 'Neutral'


Merrill Lynch downgraded Jabil Circuit (JBL ) Celestica (CLS), C-Mac Indus (EMS),

Solectron (SLR ) and Sanmina (SANM ) to near-term neutral from buy.

Analyst Jerry Labowitz expects another round of preannouncements from OEM customers, and thinks estimates to electronic manufacturing service providers are at risk. Based on channel checks, he thinks the rebound that companies and investors had been expecting later this year is wishful thinking. Since the electronics manufacturing service industry has become more data networking/telecom-centric in recent years, further signs of deterioration demand for communications equipment does not bode well for most of their providers. However, his long-term enthusiasm remains intact, and Labowitz maintains his long-term buy ratings on all stocks.


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