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Salomon downgrade latest blow to Rhythms shares

Rhythms NetConnections got a another dose of bad news Tuesday when Salomon Smith Barney cut the broadband access and services provider from a "buy" rating to "neutral."

The stock fell 19 cents, or 15 percent, to an all-time low of 84 cents.

In its latest quarter, Rhythms (Nasdaq: RTHM) posted a loss of $159.2 million, or $2.07 a share, on sales of $17.2 million.

First Call Corp. consensus expects it to lose $2.42 a share in its fourth quarter and $9.60 a share in fiscal 2001.

The stock moved as high as $50 in February before falling to Tuesday's low.

Nine of the 15 analysts following the stock maintain either a "hold" or "sell" recommendation.