Merrill Lynch Revises Estimates for AudioCodes

TEL AVIV – Merrill Lynch reduced its first quarter EPS estimates for telephony developer AudioCodes on Tuesday. Merrill Lynch also announced that it now expects flash memory producer M-Systems to lose money this year.
Merrill Lynch dropped AudioCodes’ earnings per share from $0.14 to $0.06 in the first quarter and its estimates for 2001 from $0.77 to $0.42.

The revised figures were attributed to the slowing telecommunications market.

Despite the lower estimates, Merrill Lynch said that AudioCodes is apt to benefit from the current atmosphere of consolidation in the telecom industry, and retained the company as a long-term Buy. Previously, Prudential downgraded AudioCodes to Sell.

M-Systems is now expected to end 2001 with a loss for the year, instead of breaking even, as Merrill Lynch previously estimated.

The diminished expectations are a result of order cancellations.

M-Systems (FLSH) develops flash disks, that are primarily used as data storage for Internet appliances, network infrastructure equipment and other embedded systems. The flash disks provide the functionality of a mechanical hard drive on a silicon chip. The company is based in Kfar Saba, Israel.

AudioCodes (AUDC) produces packet voice technologies and communication components for voice networks. The company specializes in voice compression technology. The company was founded in 1993 and is based in Yehud, Israel.

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