) to buy from outperform.
Analyst Thomas O'Donnell says the upgrade is due to the stock price. He notes GDW is a high-quality company, the premier thrift in the industry. He says Golden West shares are currently trading at slightly above 9 times the $5.15 2002 consensus EPS estimate; he believes high-quality thrifts should trade in the 10x-11x range. O'Donnell believes Golden West, as the premier thrift in the industry, should trade at the high end of the range or even higher. He thinks interest rate concerns may be overdone.
The analyst sees $4.95 2001 EPS and $5.15 in 2002 (which is equal to the consensus view). He has a $57 price target on the shares.