) to market perform.
Analyst Matthew Dodds says he downgraded the medical products maker to market perform, from outperform, as the 43 cents second-quarter earnings per share from continuing operations (excluding charges) was 9 cents below his and the consensus estimates.
Dodds notes the company continues to suffer from gross margin declines, and rising selling, general, and administrative costs. He says Vital Signs offered limited earnings per share guidance, projecting a quarter-over-quarter operating earnings per share improvement in the third quarter, similar to the 51 cents in the first quarter. Dodds notes an inflammatory civil lawsuit against Vital Signs by a former CEO.