Raymond James Downgrades Ipsco

Analyst Joseph Leinwand lowers his rating on the steelmaker on lower near-term steel sheet prices

Raymond James downgraded steelmaker Ipsco (IPS ) to sector perform from outperform.

Analyst Joseph Leinwand says his revised guidance is mostly related to issues that are considered to be short-term in nature. While plate end user demand and prices remain high, a decline in sheet prices has recently accelerated, with some industry followers predicting sheet price of $450 per ton in the near-term.

He lowered his $10.80 2005 earnings per share estimate to $9.47 to reflect recent events and lower steel price assumption. He cut his $7.39 2006 EPS forecast to $6.44 to reflect lower steel pricing. Based on the revised estimates, he lowered his $61 price target to $55.

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