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WR Hambrecht Upgrades Trimble Navigation to 'Buy'

WR Hambrecht upgraded Trimble Navigation (TRMB) to buy from hold.

Analyst Peter Friedland says the maker of advanced positioning and surveying instrumentation products posted 29 cents third-quarter GAAP earnings per share, beating his and the consensus estimates for 28 cents earnings per share. Trimble posted $139.6 million in revenue, which was $8 million above his estimate. Friedland attributes the upside to stronger-than-expected sales of land survey equipment, and a greater-than-expected impact from the Applanix acquisition and the Nikon-Trimble joint venture.

He notes days sales outstanding fell to 59 days from 69 days, resulting in solid operating cash flow of $19.4 million. He says the fourth-quarter guidance is below his and the consensus estimates, but thinks the 2004 outlook is above his estimates.

Friedland trimmed the 26 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share estimate to 25 cents, and raised the $1.46 2004 earnings per share estimate to $1.65. He has a $29 12-month target.

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