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Tucker Positive on Western Wireless

Tucker Anthony maintains his strong buy on Western Wireless (WWCA).

Analyst Thomas Friedberg says Q4 results beat Street estimates "like a drum." He raised his $397.5 million 2001 EBITDA estimate to $400.8 million and raised his $469.5 million 2002 EBITDA estimate to $478.9 million (he notes these estimates based solely on current domestic cellular business). Friedberg has a $77 target, and says the company's advantageous positioning justifies its valuation premium to its peers. He also believes that the company's wireless franchise is the least vulnerable to Sprint competition and the rest of the newly licensed spectrum, making it the most valuable of the remaining rural, small market cellular carriers.

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