) to underperform.
Analyst Alex Converse says the downgrade reflects Medical Staffing's withdrawal of its earnings guidance due to uncertain demand trends. Medical Staffing said demand for temporary nurses is going through a contraction period, due to flat/declining hospital admissions, higher reliance on overtime, and larger patient loads for full-time nurses. Converse says the 17 cents first-quarter earnings per share and other metrics are in line or slightly ahead of his estimates.
He cut the 92 cents 2003 earnings per share estimate to 65 cents, and cut the $58 million EBITDA to $58 million, implying flat sequential results for the balance of the year. He notes low confidence in his estimates, and cut the $14 target to $6.50.