AG Edwards downgraded Ceradyne (CRDN) to sell from hold on valuation.
Analyst Michael Braig says although demand for small arms protective inserts continues to grow, and capacity expansions to meet accelerated demand are underway, he thinks recent price action suggests the downside price risk is greater than the upside potential. He notes Ceradyne trades at 143% of the 2004 p-e of its nearest competitor, 166% of the peer group of small defense contractors, and 137% of the large-capitalization peer group.
Braig points out that demonstrated volatility of investors' attitude toward defense stocks -- both up and down -- seems to apply to Ceradyne. He sees $1.09 2003 earnings per share and sees $1.48 earnings per share in 2004.