Adams Harkness Cuts Opinion On Ultratech

Analyst Avinash Kant says the recent departure of a key employee creates uncertainties

Adams Harkness cut its investment opinion on Ultratech (UTEK ) to market perform from buy, explaining that the recent departure of a senior vice president in Laser Processing has sparked uncertainties.

The technology company said Friday that Somit Talwar is terminated, but provided no explanation. Adams Harkness analyst Avinash Kant said this news leaves him with little near term visibility about what happens at Ultratech. Somit had been at the company for almost 10 years and made key contributions to its laser anneal technology business, which was widely widely anticipated to be key growth driver for Ultratech, Kant said. He sees a lot riding on the successful insertion of these tools (ASPs in the $4 million range) at key customers such as Intel and IBM. Kant cut his estimate for 2005 to 7 cents from 15 cents in earnings per share, and his estimate for 2006 to 50 cents from 70 cents in earnings per share.