Markets & Finance

First Albany Upgrades to 'Buy'

First Albany upgraded (FWHT) to buy from neutral.

Analyst Youssef Squali says he's upgrading on valuation and the merits of the Internet advertising company's U.S. business, excluding the pending Espotting acquisition. He notes shares fell 37% over the last two weeks, which he ties to investors' concerns about the pending Espotting deal, and the long-term viability of FindWhat's business model.

Squali says, while the market still needs more clarity on the outcome of the Espotting deal and its impact on 2004 estimates, he thinks FindWhat's stock at current levels provides attractive upside potential to longer-term investors. He's keeping his 51 cents 2003 earnings per share estimate, but cut the 77 cents 2004 estimate to 70 cents. He has a $22 target.

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