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USB Piper Lowers ChoicePoint to 'Outperform'

USB Piper downgraded ChoicePoint (CPS) to outperform from strong buy.

Analyst Brett Manderfeld says while some of the organic growth deceleration for 2003 is already factored into ChoicePoint, he forecasts a 10% drop from current levels before seeing similar upside appreciation. The major catalysts behind his reduced organic growth ests include: Longer ramp time for goverment funded homeland security initiatives, and continued weakness in the hiring environment.

Manderfield still believes in the power of ChoicePoint's business model, but he thinks a mid-quarter conference call on Wednesday will raise more questions than it will answer. Manderfield cut the$1.60 2003 earnings per share estimate on $866 million revenues to $1.53 on $779 million revenues, and trimmed the $48 target to $38.

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