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Citigroup Downgrades Cooper Cos. to Hold

Citigroup downgraded Cooper Companies (COO) to hold from buy, explaining that the health care products maker has made its third significant earnings guidance cut since May.

Analyst Peter Bye says the company cut its earnings estimates through fiscal year 2007 (ending October) citing factors such as weather, weak spherical lens sales in the U.S., and unfavorable currency conversion rates. He says that while the stock seems "cheap" at present, he has trouble embracing the company's expectations, and no longer finds the risk/reward investment trade-off compelling. He cut his $3.24 fiscal year 2005 earnings per share estimate to $3.10, his $4.05 fiscal year 2006 estimate to $3.48, and his $4.80 fiscal year 2007 estimate to $4.10, which is below the company's guidance.

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