Piper Jaffray Downgrades ManTech to Market Perform

Analyst Brett Manderfeld sees flat margins, and cut his earnings estimates for the technology services firm

Piper Jaffray downgraded ManTech International (MANT ) to market perform from outperform.

Analyst Brett Manderfeld says his downgrade of the information-technology services provider is due to spiking day sales outstanding, uncertainty around the timing for a decline in day sales outstanding, and expectations for flat operating margins this year. Assuming margin expectations mirror reality, Manderfeld says bottom-line growth for ManTech will approximate top-line growth.

He believes the earnings multiple will contract considerably without margin expansion driving earnings per share growth. He reduced the $1.29 2004 earnings per share estimate to $1.24, and set a $1.41 2005 earnings per share estimate. Manderfeld has a $21 target.

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