Wachovia Lowers TMP Worldwide to 'Hold'

Analyst Mark Marcon says demand for job placement and advertising is likely to stay muted for the next six months

Wachovia downgraded TMP Worldwide (TMPW ) to hold from buy.

Analyst Mark Marcon says second quarter results for the online recruitment firm were weaker than he expected, and were attributable to extremely weak labor markets in Europe and the U.S. He notes second quarter earnings per share, excluding one-time charges, were $0.14.

Marcon says guidance for the remainder of 2002 was cut by a greater magnitude than he expected. He notes that president and COO Jim Treacy will be leaving TMP by the end of the year. He says the economy apparently is losing momentum, and recent negative economic data indicate that demand is likely to remain muted for the next six months.

Marcon cut his $0.72 2002 earnings per share estimate to $0.57, and cut the $0.96 2003 earnings per share estimate to $0.78.

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