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.