Markets & Finance

JMP Upgrades Exult to 'Strong Buy'

JMP Securities upgraded Exult (EXLT) to strong buy from outperform.

Analyst James Wilson says Exult's shares are oversold, and may be bottoming out, while fundamentals remain strong. He says the stock is down 39% from a recent $9.50 high due to a $100 million convertible debt offering, and a share sale by BP, one of Exult's two strategic investors, since September.

Wilson believes nothing has changed operationally for this provider of human-resource management services, and he thinks prospects for new customers and margin improvement remain good. He says the company is uniquely positioned in the marketplace, and that 20% to 25% secular revenue growth is achievable. Wilson sees 5 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share, 17 cents in 2003, and 35 cents in 2004. He has an $11 price target.

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