Merrill Cuts Armor Holding Estimates

The maker of security products lowered guidance and hired Merrill to sell its struggling unit

Merrill Lynch cut its estimates on Armor Holding (AH ).

The company slashed its second-quarter earnings estimate in half and retained Merrill to sell its Armorgroup SVC division. Analyst Byron Callan says although he has not talked with management, based on Monday's preannouncement, he cut his estimates. He notes prior GAAP estimates (including one-time charges) were $1.11 for 2002, and $1.35 for 2003. He says removing services from his forecast drops the 2002 estimate to $0.78, and drops 2003's to about $1.10. Callan notes he has not included cash proceeds from a sale in its model, or the impact of a share repurchase authorization. However, given the sharp drop in the stock price, Callan says he will keep his near term buy, and long term strong buy.

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