Markets & Finance

Prudential Lowers SPX Corp. to 'Hold'


Prudential downgraded SPX Corp. (SPW) to hold from buy.

Analyst Nicholas Heymann says he downgraded the technical and industrial services firm based on growing weakness throughout most capital good markets that SPX serve -- both from a demand and pricing standpoint. He cut the 63 cents first quarter earnings per share estimate to 53 cents, vs. 78 cents in the first quarter of 2002. He also cut the $3.50 2003 earnings per share estimate to $3.40, and trimmed the $3.75 2004 estimate to $3.55.

Heymann notes recent debt refinancing and a S&P debt upgrade last week appear to be positive news. Still, without prospects for a dividend, and pending clarification of a tax reform proposal, he says there's no positive catalyst likely in the near-term. Heymann cut the $40 6 month to 12 month price target to $34.


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