Markets & Finance

Citigroup Cuts Martek Biosciences to Hold


From Standard & Poor's Equity Research

Martek Biosciences (MATK) posted third-quarter results and lowered its outlook. It sees lower-than-expected 9-12 cents fourth-quarter EPS, and 62-65 cents for fiscal year 2006. Citigroup downgraded the stock to hold from buy.

Analyst Elise Wang says she downgrades as reduced gross margins and continuing idle manufacturing capacity costs will exert significant pressure on the bottom line well into next fiscal year. She notes lower fourth-quarter guidance is due to fluctuations in customer orders and EPS due to higher costs for the company's ARA supply and increased idle manufacturing capacity costs despite a solid third quarter.

In addition, Wang says the company indicated visibility on revenue growth from key food opportunities will not become apparent until late next year.

She cut EPS forecasts from 75 cents for fiscal year 2006 (October) to 69 cents, and $1.60 for fiscal year 2007 to 90 cents. She lowered her price target to $27.


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