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Bear of the Day

We have downgraded our recommendation to Underperform on L-3 Communications Holdings Inc. (LLL), which is currently trading at a discount to both the peer group and the S&P 500 based on forward earnings estimates. The discounted valuation is owing to its nonplatform focus on shorter cycle contracts. This results in contracts expiring faster than its peers, bringing in the need for new ones to replace them.

In the near term, the company is witnessing lower sales while higher competition has resulted in margin headwinds through re-competitions of existing businesses. Thus we would advise investors to exit from the company for now until the ongoing macro headwinds improve.

The company ended last quarter with cash and cash equivalents of $481 million versus $548 million at the end of the second quarter of 2011. Long-term debt was $4.1 billion, flat year over year. L-3 Communications expects its yearly revenue to be in the range of $12,950 million $13,150 million, earnings in the range of $7.70 to $7.85.

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