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Goldman Downgrades Armor Holdings

Goldman Sachs downgrades Armor Holdings AH to underperform from in-line. On Friday, the company posted 74 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share.

Analyst Glenn Engel says results were a few pennies short of his estimate. He says margins on vehicle armor dropped a bit more than expected and stock option expensing will cost 2 cents to 3 cents per quarter.

Therefore, he cuts $3.00 2005 earnings per share estimate to $2.85 (company guidance is $2.75 to $3.00) and $2.35 2006 earnings per share to $2.25. He downgrades on the belief that earnings per share will have peaked in first-half 2005.

Engel says the need to build inventory of vehicles and body armor, and fill non-Army deferred demand will provide some support for production in second-half 2005, but he sees a 36% drop in its Aerospace & Defense unit's revenues in 2006 and a further drop in 2007.

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