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Baird Downgrades Kronos

Baird downgrades Kronos Inc. (KRON) to neutral.

Analyst Mark Marcon says he downgrades from outperform as the company's 34 cents second-quarter earnings per share is below his 35 cents estimate and the Street's 37 cents estimate, due to disruptions/distortions stemming largely from sales force reorganization.

He says $120.6 million sales missed guidance and product revenue rose just 3% year-over-year and fell 13% sequentially. He notes product gross margin fell 180 basis points due to reduced leverage, increased mix of lower-margin HRMS, payroll, and acquired scheduling software.

Marcon says the company's guidance was below consensus. He cuts his $1.70 fiscal 2005 (ending September) earnings per share estimate to $1.61, and $2.00 fiscal 2006 to $1.81. He cuts his $56 target to $43.

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