CIBC World Cuts Catalina to 'Sector Underperform'

Analyst David Doft says an increased focus on the ethics of direct pharmaceutical markteting is hurting the promotions company

CIBC World downgraded Catalina Marketing (POS ) to sector underperform.

Analyst David Doft says he's downgrading Catalina, a provider of promotions at retail checkout stands, on a sharp slowdown at its Health Resource Publishing business. Doft says with an increased focus on the ethics of direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical advertising, manufacturers have curbed discretionary promotional spending and retail pharmacies have become more discriminating.

He says weakness at Health Resources undermines Catalina's most compelling growth story and should materially impact the stock's premium valuation. Doft cut the $1.32 fiscal 2003 (March) earnings per share estimate o $1.12 and cut the $1.61 fiscal 2004 estimate to $1.29.

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