Baird upgraded IDEX (IEX
) to outperform from neutral, citing more confidence in the company's ability to sustain growth during 2006.
Analyst Michael Schneider says his assessment of first quarter global business conditions, the company's new product momentum, and its margin initiatives underlies his belief that the stock can trade into the mid-$50s. Beyond 2006, he gained confidence that operating margins can exceed 20% from 17.5% in 2005. Accordingly, he raises his 2006 earnings per share (EPS) estimate to $2.41, his 2007 estimate to $2.71, and his stock price target to $56.