Markets & Finance

Morgan Stanley Cuts Acxiom to 'Neutral'


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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