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Raymond James Ups Landstar System to 'Strong Buy'

Raymond James upgraded Landstar System (LSTR) to strong buy from market perform.

Analyst William Fisher says his upgrade of the transportation company is based on several company-specific business trends, which should only be enhanced by a better economy. He says the "big ticket" agent count continues to expand, driving multimodal growth.

Also, Fisher says the count for independent contractors for Landstar Express jumped from 34 to 40, while count comparisons for Landstar's independent owner/operators, known as Business Capacity Owners or BCOs, turned positive in July and August.

After a year of declines, Fisher thinks the third quarter should mark a positive trend. He also thinks any possible customer attrition from the Roadway and Yellow merger should benefit Landstar.

Fisher sees $3.10 2003 earnings per share, and raised the $3.55 2004 estimate to $3.75. He set a $75 target.

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