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Morgan Stanley Ups Louisiana-Pacific Rating

Morgan Stanley upgraded Louisiana-Pacific (LPX) to equal-weight from underweight.

Analyst Matthew Berler says he expects shutdowns at 13 North American plants to help restore balance to the oversupplied oriented strand board (OSB) market, and lead to rally in OSB prices in early third quarter. He says the company's shares have underperformed as expected through the second quarter on weakening building product prices.

Berler notes the company's announcement provides visibility on the next upturn in the OSB markets, and as such, should put a floor on the share price. He has a $0.15 2002 earnings per share estimate vs. the Street's $0.11, and $1.20 for 2003 vs. the Street's $0.93.

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