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Merriman Curhan Cuts Bookham to Neutral

Merriman Curhan Ford & Co. downgraded Bookham (BKHM) to neutral from buy, after the company cut its third quarter forecast.

Analyst Tim Savageaux says Bookham's gross margin forecast of 10% to 12% is sharply lower than its previous estimate of 23% to 27%. He cites the unanticipated impact of shifts in the company's product mix, among other things. He also notes a number of one-time items, principally inventory charges, associated with the final shutdown of the company's UK manufacturing facilities and its transfer to China. He keeps his fiscal year 2006 (ending June) and fiscal year 2007 revenue forecast, but widens his 53 cents fiscal year 2006 loss estimate to an 89 cents loss. He also cuts his 14 cents fiscal year 2007 EPS to 23 cents loss, driven by gross margin assumptions.

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