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Baird Downgrades Plantronics

Baird downgrades communications headset maker Plantronics Inc. (PLT) to neutral.

Analyst Reik Read says he downgrades from outperform on the belief Bluetooth product transition will last longer than expected. However, the long-term story remains positive, particularly in the wireless market.

He says while fourth-quarter revenue was slightly better-than-expected, earnings per share came in weaker than expected from discontinuing associated with Bluetooth transition.

Given near term competitive pricing pressures for Bluetooth in North America, he cuts his $1.94 2005 earnings per share estimate to $1.75, and his $2.23 2006 earnings per share estimate to $2.12. He cuts target to $40, but would be buyers under $35.

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