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First Albany Downgrades Martek Biosciences

First Albany cut its investment recommendation on Martek Biosciences (MATK ) to neutral from buy on Friday, citing the company's third-quarter results.

Martek posted a breakeven third-quarter compared with 16 cents earnings per share a year ago.

Analyst David Webber said the breakeven results beat his and the consensus forecast, but the company's forecasts for 2006 growth were lower than previously thought. Webber says the company expects base business revenues of "over $235 million," which while leaving room for upside potential from international launches or quick food product launches, is well below his $295 million estimate, and consensus $340 million estimate. Webber says the company thinks its customers may shift to just-in-time stocking, and production capacity will be under- utilized in 2006.

Webber cut his $1.14 fiscal year 2006 (ending October) earnings per share estimate to 69 cents, his $1.63 fiscal year 2007 estimate to $1.10, and his $2.13 fiscal year 2008 estimate to $1.74.

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