were trading down almost 14% after Deutsche Bank downgraded it to sell from hold on Monday.
"CheckFree's 10-K provides more disclosure than any previous filing. While we are pleased by the additional transparency, the report raised a number of questions that the company's management has declined to address," said Richard Zandi, an analyst at Deutsche Bank, in a research note.
Zandi said questions center on how many top-10 banks CheckFree provides outsourcing services to, the churn rate of its online bill payers and its maintenance renewal rate. He also questioned why the allowance for doubtful accounts as a percent of total accounts receivables fell by 100 basis points in 2002.
Other questions concern CheckFree's "unconditional purchase obligations," which were disclosed for the first time in the company's latest annual report, Zandi said. The analyst also questioned why the company reduced its reserve for returns and chargebacks by nearly $3 million in 2002.
Moreover, the analyst said CheckFree is overvalued. The stock currently trades at 27 times his 12-month forward estimate. Zandi said it should trade at a slight discount to its peer group multiple of 17.4.He currently has a $9.50 price target on the stock. The shares were recently off $2.19, or 13.95%, at $13.54.
A spokeswoman for CheckFree declined to comment on the report.