CS First Boston Lowers URS Corp. to 'Neutral'

Analyst Jamie Cook cites ongoing earnings disappointments from the construction services firm

CS First Boston downgraded URS Corp. (URS ) to neutral from outperform.

On Friday the construction management services company posted 21 cents fourth quarter earnings per share, and forecast lower than expected $1.75 fiscal 2003 earnings per share.

Analyst Jamie Cook says fourth quarter operating earnings per share missed consensus by almost 30 cents. He notes the company is guiding fiscal 2003 (Oct) state and local revenues down 15%-20% off already depressed fiscal 2002 levels, vs. the previous guidance of down 10%. He cut the $2.60 fiscal 2003 earnings per share estimate to $1.75.

Cook thinks URS will continue to trade at a discount to peers due to these disappointments and a leveraged balance sheet. He says he is awaiting greater visibility and execution. He cut his $24 12-month target to $18.

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