Morgan Stanley Cuts Acxiom to 'Neutral'

Analyst Michael Russell thinks the computer-services firm's lowered guidance and lack of information heighten investor uncertainity

Morgan Stanley DW downgraded Acxiom Corp. (ACXM ) to underperform from neutral.

Analyst Michael Russell says the situation seems worse than expected not only in terms of the economy, but also because of an accounting impact. The company cited $3 million-$6 million in one-time items that were not discussed in the press release at all.

Russell thinks Axciom is increasing investors' uncertainty by not holding a conference call until Wednesday. He cut the $0.36 4Q EPS estimate to $0.10 and put the fiscal 2002 (March) estimates under review. Russell says there's no visibility beyond Q4, and says the disappointing guidance warrants Monday's stock price weakness.

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