UPDATE 1-Analysts downgrade Veraz Networks on weak 2008 outlook

mercoledì 20 febbraio 2008 18:15
 

(Changes source, adds analysts' comments and share movement)

Feb 20 (Reuters) - Analysts at Credit Suisse, Raymond James and Cantor Fitzgerald downgraded Internet protocol devices provider Veraz Networks Inc VRAZ.O citing the company's disappointing outlook for fiscal 2008.

Veraz shares fell nearly 38 percent to a new year-low of $3.04, a day after it forecast fiscal 2008 results significantly below Wall Street expectations.

Credit Suisse analyst Paul Silverstein, who downgraded the stock to "neutral" from "outperform," said while he viewed Veraz Networks' outlook as conservative, his original growth expectations for internet protocol and overall revenue appeared well out of reach.

Analyst Edward Jackson of Cantor said, "While we continue to project solid growth for the company's internet protocol products business, sales of these products have been below expectations for the past two quarters and thus our confidence relative to fiscal 2008 is reduced."

Jackson cut his view on the stock to "hold" from "buy."

For 2008, Veraz forecast earnings of 6 cents to 11 cents a share, on revenue of $132 million to $137 million. Analysts on average expected earnings of 27 cents a share, on revenue of $154.09 million, according to Reuters Estimates.

Raymond James analyst Todd Koffman lowered his rating on the stock to "market perform" from "outperform", saying the downgrade was based on concerns that the transition to internet protocol softswitch and gateways from legacy Time Division Multiplexing (TDM) networks had stalled.

The company, based in San Jose, California, went public in April and competes with computer networking and telecom equipment makers like Sonus Networks Inc (SONS.O: Quotazione) and Cisco Systems Inc (CSCO.O: Quotazione).

Shares of the firm were trading down $1.71 at $3.19 in afternoon trade on Nasdaq. (Reporting by Tenzin Pema in Bangalore; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi)