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Prudential Downgrades Digital River to 'Hold'

Prudential downgraded Digital River (DRIV) to hold from buy.

Analyst Mark Rowen says lower than expected seasonal software sales were due to weak sales in tax-related software as Intuit is gaining market share on one of Digital River's largest clients, H&R Block. He believes the problems likely run deeper as management also cut guidance for the rest of the year.

Rowen says e-business services should be flat to slightly down sequentially, marking the third straight quarter without growth. He cut his $0.42 2002 EPS estimate to $0.24, and trimmed the $0.50 (pro forma) 2003 estimate to $0.38. He also cut his $25 target to $12.

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