Banc of America initiated coverage of NuCo2 (NUCO) with strong buy.
Analyst William Gibson says the company is the nation's largest distributor of bulk systems used to carbonate fountain beverages. He notes NuCo2 formed an alliance with Coca-Cola to focus on large national restaurant chains, and strengthened its operating infrastructure to execute this strategy.
Gibson says he doesn't see a natural challenger among dispersed competition. He likes the company's favorable business characteristics, including its market leadership, and sees room for growth. He also sees predictable cash flows and dependable earnings per share growth. Gibson expects margins and profitability to expand with size, scale and density. He set a $17 12-month target.