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Banc of America Ups Monster Worldwide to 'Buy'

Banc of America upgraded Monster Worldwide (MNST) to buy from neutral.

Analyst Marta Nichols says she upgraded due to increases in estimates and the price target, as well as a more attractive risk/reward scenario. She says as Help Wanted advertising rises, both Monster and its online competitors will win. She notes competitive concerns have reached a fever pitch, yet Monster still is holding its own in the war for marketshare.

Nichols raised the 2004 earnings per share estimate by 5 cents to 55 cents, and upped the 2005 estimate by 5 cents to 75 cents. She upped her target to $27, which is supported by her comparable analysis to other Internet growth stocks, as well as fair value relative to Monster's secular growth, and her discounted cash-flow analysis.

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