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Legg Mason Cuts Griffon to Hold from Buy

Legg Mason cut its investment recommendation on Griffon (GFF) to hold from buy.

Analyst Laurence Baker said he still believes these shares are attractive longer-term, but he's reluctant to encourage adding positions in this period of uncertainty in raw material pricing. He cut his fiscal year 2006 (ending September) earnings per share estimate to $1.80 from $2.10. He says the estimate reduction is the result of three factors: 1) projected cost of stock-based compensation, which will reduce earnings per share by 8 cents in fiscal year 2006, 2) expectation of higher resin costs in November and December, which will likely depress margins in the first and second quarters as well as reduce earnings by 17 cents per share 3) garage door margins might be squeezed, reducing earnings per share by 5 cents.

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