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SoundView Downgrades EDS to 'Neutral'

SoundView downgraded information-technology services company Electronic Data Systems (EDS) to neutral from outperform.

Analyst John Jones says management laid out good strategic plan, but he notes a lot of execution risk given the challenges and number of moving parts. He says the plan puts a lot on management's plate at same time it's trying to fix a host of structural issues. He notes EDS hit his $24 target, and believes it will be hard for the stock to go much higher without evidence of improving earnings.

Jones says cost reductions are unlikely to affect earnings until late 2004. He cut the $1.60 2003 earnings per share estimate to $1.45, and cut the $2.00 2004 estimate to $1.70. He says $2.00-$2.50+ is possible in 2005 if management hits margins targets.

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