JP Morgan upgraded Black & Decker (BDK) to buy from long-term buy.
Analyst Brian McLoughlin says his upgrade is based on the strength of the overall economy and the specific improvement in construction-related markets. He says confidence in the company's cost-cutting program has increased, following recent conversations with management, and he now sees 2003 objectives as clearly achievable. McLoughlin maintains his $2.80 2002 EPS estimate, although a robust recovery in the economy suggests an upside to a flat sales outlook. He set a $55 target, 16 times the $3.40 2003 EPS estimate. Shares are trading at about 20% below the peer group average, McLoughlin says.