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First Albany Downgrades Conmed to 'Neutral'

First Albany downgraded Conmed (CNMD) to neutral from buy.

Analyst William Plovanic says second-quarter results may fall short of his 35 cents earnings per share, and $122.1 million revenue estimates. He says the restructuring of Conmed's distribution channel from a direct sales model to an indirect model may disrupt the salesforce's focus in the near term. He also cites industry-wide slowdowns in sales of shave products for arthroscopy.

Furthermore, Plovanic says benefits from Conmed's long-bone powered surgical instrument distribution pact with Johnson & Johnson have been slow to materialize. For now, he maintains his second-quarter estimates. Plovanic sees $1.45 2003 earnings per share, and $488.5 million revenue; he also sees $1.70 2004 earnings per share, and $520.4 million revenue.

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