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Lehman Brothers Cuts Tech Data Estimates

Lehman trimmed its estimates on Tech Data (TECD), after the maker of data processing supplies said its fiscal 2004 earnings per share could decline by 15%-25%. The company also says it will acquire Britian's Azlan Group.

Analyst Jon Horvath says the fiscal 2004 (Jan.) earnings per share pressure was due to aggressive pricing in response to market share loss in the U.S., as well as signs of softening demand. He notes management did not give any guidance materials or earnings per share guidance for the January quarter, and would only say that pricing was "competitive."

Nonetheless, Horvath says he likes the Azlan acquisition due to the higher margin, value-added nature of its business, but he says he will remain on the sidelines until he sees evidence that Tech Data's market share losses are ending. Horvath cut his $2.33 fiscal 2003 earnings per share estimate to $2.32, and cut the $2.54 fiscal 2004 estimate to $1.89. He slashed the $30 target to $23, and is keeping his underweight rating.

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