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Baird Downgrades Waters Corp.

Baird downgrades Waters Corp. (WAT) to neutral from outperform.

Analyst Larry Neibor cuts his view on the analytical instrument group to neutral from outperform and downgrades Waters, PerkinElmer, Thermo Electron, and Varian to neutral from outperform. He says his reasons behind the negative preannouncement by Waters may apply to PerkinElmer, Thermo Electron, and Varian.

He notes Waters said its first quarter will fall well below guidance on weaknesses in pharma capital spending in Europe, and not enough strength in other markets to compensate. He notes he thought cash flow would be strong enough to reverse the trend, but that may not be occurring.

Neibor cuts his 44 cents first-quarter earnings per share estimate to 34 cents and $2.13 2005 earnings per share to $2.04.

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