Salomon Smith Barney upgraded International Game Technology (IGT) to buy from outperform.
Analyst Michael Rietbrock says the upgrade is based on what he views as a much-improved risk/reward profile. He notes shares are off 30% from their June 8 peak, due, he believes, to investors' digestion of the inevitable slowing of the company's growth rate, profit taking and rival Station Casino's negative comments on International Game's products. He had previously been reluctant to chase shares based on concerns these issues might move to the forefront of investor thinking against what were extremely high expectations; he now senses the issues are reflected in the stock price. Rietbrock expects the company to post visible 15%+ EPS growth next year. He has a $60 target.