USB Piper Lowers Cerner to 'Market Perform'

Analyst Daren Marhula says the business solutions firm largely missed estimates

USB Piper downgraded Cerner (CERN ) to market perform.

Analyst Daren Marhula says Cerner, a business software and solutions provider, now sees first quarter bookings of $145 million to $150 million, on $189 million to $192 million in sales, and 13 cents to 15 cents earnings per share, vs. his first quarter estimates of $200 million, $208 million, and 38 cents, respectively. Based on the magnitude of the miss, he cut his $1.84 2003 earnings per share estimate to 70 cents, and cut the $895 million 2003 revenue estimate to $804 million to incorporate a slower top-line growth rate, larger internal investments in the U.S., campus expansion, and R&D.

Marhula notes these are conservative preliminary estimates, and will likely be fine tuned once he views the full first quarter financials on April 17. He cut the $54 target to $19, which is 20 times his preliminary 95 2004 earnings per share estimate.

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