Markets & Finance

J.P. Morgan Ups Century Aluminum to 'Overweight'

J.P. Morgan upgraded Century Aluminum (CENX) to overweight from underweight.

Analyst Michael Gambardella says he believes aluminum fundamentals have turned the corner, and thinks a revival of U.S. and global economies will sustain aluminum pricing while depleting inventories and absorbing capacity in 2004.

Gambardella believes Century Aluminum has significant earnings per share leverage to aluminum price movements with every penny per pound change in aluminum price generating 21 cents in annual earnings per share. He maintains the 40-cent 2003 loss per share estimate, and upped the 70 cents 2004 earnings per share estimate to 77 cents, based on his belief that the company's earnings per share should swing positive due to improved pricing, flat to lower costs, and higher shipments.

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