Prudential downgraded Superior Industries (SUP) to sell from hold.
Analyst Michael Bruynesteyn says the downgrade is based on a fundamental shift in original equipment manufacturers' wheel buying behavior. In Interviews with OEMs, relevant suppliers revealed an almost unanimous opinion that a combination of improved designs for styled steel wheels, and greater OEM emphasis on lowering costs will overcome weight considerations, and lead to sharply reduced growth for aluminum wheels in the next one to five years. He figures the reduction of aluminum spares could cut one million units from aluminum wheel shipments. He cut the $3.35 2003 earnings per share estimate to $2.93, and cut the $3.75 2004 estimate to $3.33. He also cut the $47 target to $39.