Matria Healthcare (MATR) cut its first quarter earnings per share guidance. In response, Southwest Securities cut its estimates.
Analyst Anne Barlow says although the company lowered its first-quarter EPS estimates, it reaffirmed 2004 guidance. She says the first quarter revision is due to problems in its Women's Health division; she is disappointed that visibility in this important division remains cloudy. She notes what's different today vs. when past revisions have occurred, is that Matria has seen significant activity in its disease management contracting activity and is in the process of ramping a tremendous amount of business that was absent from its pipeline in the past.
Barlow cut her EPS estimates from $1.01 to 93 cents for 2004, and from $1.37 to $1.36 for 2005. She reiterated a strong buy rating, and has a $32 price target on the stock.