Markets & Finance

Jefferies Trims Estimates On America Service Group

Jefferies barely cut estimates and reiterated its buy recommendation on America Service Group (ASGR

,) explaining that investors are overreacting to recent news about the company's loss of a services contract in Hillsborough County, Fla.

Analyst Anton Hie says the contract news is disappointing, but not a total surprise. The company lost the deal over pricing differences rather than performance, after having vied for the new contract against a small rival led by America Service Group's co-founder, Hie says. The analyst cut his estimates on the stock based on the low end of his revised guidance: $1.43 earnings per share for 2005 from $1.45, and $1.57 earnings per share from $1.60 for 2006.

Hie still thinks America Service Group is well positioned, however. He said he absolutely would urge investors to buy the stock on its weakness today.

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