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Legg Mason upgrades truck leasing company Ryder System (R
) to buy from hold.
Analyst John Larkin tells salesforce upgrading primarily on valuation. He notes the stock has fallen 37% from a 52-week high it reached in Dec. 2004. At about 9.9 times his $3.55 2006 earnings per share estimate, he believes the stock has found downside support.
He sets a $44 price target, or 11.5 times his 2007 earnings per share estimate of $3.80. He notes the company has accomplished much of CEO Greg Swienton's repositioning agenda -- including eliminating unprofitable business and cutting overhead costs -- and now looks to grow this profitable enterprise.
Larkin expects the company to begin growing its core Full Service Leasing business again soon.