Markets & Finance

H&R Block Upgrades Networks Associates Rating

H&R Block upgraded Networks Associates (NET ) to accumulate from neutral.

On Thursday the company posted $0.10 first quarter earnings per share. Analyst Timothy Witt says first quarter results were better than expected, and the company raised 2002 guidance. He notes guidance is based on his outlook of no economic recovery; he believes the company is smart to be conservative. Witt thinks the acquisition of the remainder of is a very positive move, especially in consumer space; the deal should close in the next few weeks.

Witt says he has a high level of confidence that the SEC investigation will find nothing amiss. He put his estimates -- $0.47 2002 EPS, and $874 million in revenue (excluding -- under review. Witt has a $28 12-18 month target.

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