) to neutral from buy on Friday, citing lack of visibility into the sports apparel company's outlook.
Analyst Russell Hoss says Ashworth's third quarter results are substantially below his estimates: the company announced $48.3 million in revenue and he had estimated $52.8 million. In earnings per share terms, the company had a 24 cent loss during the period compared to Hoss' 19 cent estimate. Improvements, such as those promised from the company's acquisition of the apparel company Gekko last year, are taking longer than expected to materialize, Hoss said. He has no confidence in Ashworth's guidance and doesn't see much visibility into the company's fourth quarter or 2006 outlook. Hoss cut his fiscal year 2005 (ending October) estimate to 7 cents from 73 cents, his fiscal year 2006 earnings per share estimate to 50 cents from 94 cents, and his price target to $10 from $17.