) sees lower than expected fourth-quarter results. Roth Capital downgraded the stock to neutral from buy.
Analyst Anton Brenner says MGP Ingredients indicated fiscal year 2005 (June) earnings per share will be 24-26 cents, below guidance of 35-40 cents. It cited higher natural gas costs, sharply reduced ethanol prices, disappointing Specialty Ingredient sales, and an unfavorable sales mix.
He notes, although sales of Fibersym stabilized, sales of several other Specialty Ingredient product lines were weak. He says it appears that improvement in Specialty Ingredients will be gradual and in large part will be dependent on development of new products.
Brenner cut 36 cents fiscal year 2005 EPS estimate to 24 cents, and 70 cents for fiscal year 2006 to 60 cents.