With Reuters

Robertson Stephens has joined the chorus of analysts lowering expectations ahead of publication of reports by Comverse Technology (Nasdaq:CMVT) on Wednesday.

Salomon Smith Barney cut its price target from $18 to $12 and lowered financial estimates. Goldman Sachs downgraded it to Market Perform and now Robertson Stephens concurs that Comverse's business hasn't hit rock-bottom.

Analyst Marianne Wolk believes that Comverse is about to lower its estimates for the future, which could hit its stock to the tune of about 10%. A whole lot of indicators show that its business could get worse, she says, as telecommunications companies continue to hold tight to their wallets.

She estimates that Comverse's revenues will slide by about 10% to $200 million in the second quarter, from $220 million in the first quarter. Phone companies are not upgrading nor buying new gear, she notes.

Salomon Smith Barney on Tuesday said it cut its price target on Comverse Technology (Nasdaq:CMVT) based on the telecom equipment maker's falling prices and smaller orders, one day after Comverse's stock fell to a new one-year low. Salomon cut its price target to $12 from $18. It said it expects first-quarter results, due Wednesday, to be generally in line with its estimates of $220 million in revenues and a loss of 6 cents per share. Salomon said carriers' lower revenues per minute and higher minutes of use pose significant pricing pressure on Comverse products.

The investment bank added in a research note it has lowered its numbers also because of Comverse's lengthening sales cycles and smaller orders. Salomon said it expects revenue of $800 million and a loss of 38 cents a share for the fiscal year, and does not see any significant catalysts until 2004.

Analysts polled by Thomson Financial/First Call expected Comverse to lose 14 cents per share for fiscal 2003. Shares of Comverse closed at $10.52 in Monday Nasdaq trade, at the low end of its 52-week range of $10.39 to $70.50.