WASHINGTON (AP) ¿ Shares of Cubic Corp., which makes military training simulators and fare-collection systems for mass transit, sank Thursday as a Wall Street analyst forecast stronger demand for military training, but noted stock growth will be limited due to its recent run-up. Cubic, based in San Diego, lost $2.29, or 6 percent, to $35.55 in afternoon trading. The company's stock has traded between $17.03 and $40.66 over the last 52-week period. The stock has gained 39 percent since January. Boenning & Scattergood analyst, Michael Ciarmoli, began coverage of Cubic with a "Neutral" rating, saying despite strong global demand for military services, the recent stock run up leaves little room for upside. "Ever present global demand for military training systems and services should position Cubic for growth even as the U.S. defense budget flattens," said Ciarmoli, in a note to clients. "Spending on military training stays hot as the defense budget cools." As the Pentagon puts more emphasis on irregular warfare in Afghanistan and Iraq, military training will be necessary across the services to learn new techniques to manage counterinsurgency and defeating explosive devices, he said.
Ciarmoli also forecasts, based on his analysis of the Defense Department's fiscal 2010 budget request, that spending on training of U.S. military personnel will remain a top priority in the coming years as the Pentagon looks to modernize and transform its armed forces. He anticipates consistent revenue growth and elevated margins will continue at Cubic, and will revise his estimates upward, accordingly. Ciarmoli is projecting earnings per share of $2.20 and $2.18 in 2009 and 2010, respectively.