) to outperform from neutral.
Analyst Scott Barry says the upgrade is based on improved risk/reward following a 36% correction in the stock driven by poor sentiment in online travel and modestly weaker second-half cost guidance. He believes the current valuation does not fully reflect the company's growth potential driven by continued strong execution of its retail integration strategy. He thinks increased pessimism regarding macro offline/online channel shift, competitive landscape, and third-party distributor value proposition is overblown.
Barry sees earnings per share of 85 cents in 2004 and $1.12 in 2005. He has a $28 discounted cash flow-based price target on the stock.