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RBC Capital Lowers Titan to Sector Underperform

Lockheed Martin (LMT) ended its merger agreement with Titan (TTN). RBC Capital cut its rating on Titan to sector underperform.

Analyst Cynthia Houlton says she is concerned that Titan faces significant financial and operational challenges as a standalone company. She says the Dept. of Justice settlement remains unresolved regarding a plea agreement on alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. She notes the company is also under investigation for its role in the Iraq prisoner scandal.

Houlton believes that mid-level management turnover could negatively impact new wins, competitive position, and core operations during the next few quarters. She cut her earnings per share estimates from 64 cents for 2004 to 61 cents, and 99 cents for 2005 to 81 cents, due to lower organic growth, higher costs, and interest payments. She also slashed her $20 price target to $10.

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