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First Albany Upgrades J2 Global to 'Buy'

First Albany upgraded J2 Global Communications (JCOM) to buy from underperform.

Analyst Youssef Squali says he's upgrading on price hikes for J2's services, diminished execution risk, and a continued lack of meaningful competition. He says J2 confirmed Thursday that it raised prices on its services for all new Web subscribers.

With no direct costs tied to these price hikes, Squali sees the botton line benefiting from expected growth in revenues. He says the overall risk profile of the company has abated since he began coverage, as Squali continues to execute its businss plan.

Squali raised the 2004 revenue estimate to $105 million, from $98 million, upped EBITDA estimate to $49 million, from $42 million, and raised the earnings per share estimate to $2.60, from $2.20 earnings per share.

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