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Euronet shares sink on downgrade on stock's price

The Associated Press

Euronet Worldwide Inc. shares fell Friday Sterne Agee analysts downgraded their rating on the stock due to its price.

THE SPARK: Analysts Greg Smith and Jennifer Dugan lowered their rating on the company's stock to "Neutral" from "Buy," saying that the stock has met their price target goal of $28 and may have a difficult time outperforming the S&P 500 during the coming months.

THE BIG PICTURE: Euronet, based in Leawood, Kan., operates ATMs and provides payment and money transfer services for financial institutions, retailers and consumers. It is getting an analyst review ahead of its first-quarter earnings report, which is scheduled for April 24.

THE ANALYSIS: The analysts upgraded their rating on the company in September on a strong view of the company, as well as easing concerns about foreign exchange and economic conditions in Europe, which they felt signaled potential for gains in stock price.

The company's shares since increased 50 percent in value, versus a 9 percent gain in the S&P 500 during the same time frame.

Smith and Dugan said the stock's current price reflects its underlying value. Despite the downgrade, they maintain a positive assessment of the company's fundamentals and said they believe 2013 will be the first year of double-digit gains in its earnings per share growth in many years.

SHARE ACTION: Euronet's stock fell $1.64, or 6 percent, to $26.40 in afternoon trading.