Markets & Finance

Thomas Weisel Upgrades Brady Shares

Thomas Weisel upgraded its investment rating on Brady Corp. (BRC

to outperform. On Sept. 15, the company posted fourth-quarter earnings per share of 66 cents.

Analyst Ajit Pai says this is the fourth consecutive quarter of accelerating growth in sales, the sixth consecutive quarter of year-over-year expansion in gross margins, and the fifth quarter of year-over-year expansion in operating margins. Pai notes consensus EPS estimates for fiscal 2005 (ending July) have been revised upwards from $2.00 in January, 2004, to $2.50 currently. He says his analysis suggests this trend of upward revisions is likely to continue through fiscal 2007, driven by continued operational streamlining, better-than-expected sales growth, and additional acquisitions. He raised his $54 price target to $60. The analyst had a peer perform rating on the stock.

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