) to market perform from market outperform.
Analyst Richard Simon says the downgrade was made because of an anticipated decline in the entertainment giant's fiscal year 2002 earnings per share and the lack of a sustainable near-term catalyst.
He noted that the company will report fiscal year 2001 earnings on Nov. 8 and expects the company to provide first general fiscal year 2002 guidance. He notes that on Sept. 25, he lowered fiscal year 2001 earnings per share estimates to $0.74 from $0.78 to account for estimated impact of Sept. 11 events. Despite box office success of Monsters Inc., fiscal year 2002 earnings per share are under particular pressure at Disney World and the broadcasting division, he says.