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Wells Fargo Cuts Applied Films to 'Market Perform'

Wells Fargo downgraded Applied Films (AFCO) to market perform from buy.

Analyst Susan Crossley says one potential source of growth was for sales of a system it developed with Coca-Cola to coat bottles with a thin layer of silicon dioxide, thereby improving the bottle's barrier properties, enabling a widespread replacement of more expensive glass bottles. Now she believes Coke is exploring a lower-cost alternatives to Applied Films' system, leading her to lower her revenue, gross margin, and earnings per share estimates.

Crossley maintains her $0.22 fiscal 2002 (June) EPS estimate and cut her $0.61 fiscal 2003 estimate to $0.45; she also cut the $1.01 calendar 2003 to $0.74. Applying a 25 times multiple to her calendar 2003 estimate, Crossley values shares at $18.50.

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