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Raymond James Downgrades Ipsco

Raymond James downgraded steelmaker Ipsco (IPS) to sector perform from outperform.

Analyst Joseph Leinwand says his revised guidance is mostly related to issues that are considered to be short-term in nature.

While plate end user demand and prices remain high, a decline in sheet prices has recently accelerated, with some industry followers predicting sheet price of $450 per ton in the near-term.

He lowered his $10.80 2005 earnings per share estimate to $9.47 to reflect recent events and lower steel price assumption. He cut his $7.39 2006 EPS forecast to $6.44 to reflect lower steel pricing. Based on the revised estimates, he lowered his $61 price target to $55.

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