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Banc of America Ups Agilent Target

Banc of America raised its target onAgilent Technologies (A).

Analyst Mark FitzGerald says in the hardware manufacturing sector, it's tough to find a stock to own based on valuation, but he says Agilent is an exception. He notes Agilent reported modest fourth-quarter revenue upside and a big earnings surprise.

He raised the 68 cents fiscal 2004 (Oct.) earnings per share estimate to 79 cents, and initiated $1.18 for fiscal 2005. He is keeping the fiscal 2004 revenue estimate. FitzGerald notes the upside is all leverage. He says the leverage story is more exciting than the top-line growth story. Agilent's leverage has the potential to provide upside surprises.

FitzGerald is keeping his buy rating, and raised the $25 target to $35, which is 30 times the $1.18 fiscal 2005 earnings per share estimate.

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