Markets & Finance

Salomon Cuts Automatic Data to 'Neutral'

Salomon Smith Barney cut Automatic Data (ADP) to neutral from outperform.

Analyst Patrick Burton believes there could be downside to Automatic Data's story next year. He is keeping his 1.2% fiscal 2003 (June) revenue growth rate. However, Burton says he assumed Automatic Data would control costs, even its investments if need be, so it could maintain its 42-year streak of 10% or better earnings per share growth.

While the company is cutting $100 million in costs, and buying back stock, it continues investing in the future. He cut the $1.94 fiscal 2003 EPS estimate to $1.85; and cut the $48 target to $39.

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