Lehman Cuts Rating on Symbol Tech

One analyst says as end markets crumble, he wonders how long the wireless manufacturer can sustain its outlook

Lehman Brothers downgraded Symbol Technologies (SBL ) to buy from strong buy.

Analyst Jeffrey Kessler says the company's end markets are deteriorating. He says retail capital spending is falling, and fears surrounding negative preannouncements -- from logistics providers like UPS and FedEx to wireless-device makers like Palm -- cause him to question how long the company can buck trends surrounding its markets. Kessler cut his $1.32 2001 EPS estimate to $1.25, and trimmed his $1.85 2002 estimate to $1.75. The analyst thinks that until there's some relief in the economy, the stock's multiple may contract back to the bottom of its three-year P/E range of 23-25 times and 40-45 times his estimate, indicating a risk to the $29-$31 target-price range.

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