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Oshkosh Truck Barrels Along

Shares of Oshkosh Truck (OSK), a maker of military and commercial vehicles, have ramped up fast -- from 48 last May to 79.37 on Mar. 16. And some pros believe they have a ways to run. Tony Dong of Munder Capital Management, which owns stock, sees OSK hitting 95 in a year, on rising sales of heavy trucks -- 34% of sales and 71% of profits -- to the U.S. military in Iraq and elsewhere. A big plus: the construction boom that has boosted demand for cement mixers and even garbage trucks. Also on the rise is demand for ambulances and fire engines. Sales are apt to benefit from further Army contracts, notes Dong. Also boosting orders, he adds, is the rise in municipal spending for homeland security. Robert McCarthy of securities firm Robert W. Baird, which has provided noninvestment banking services to Oshkosh, rates the stock "outperform" and sees earnings of $4.10 a share for the year ending Sept. 30, and $4.75 in 2006, vs. $3.13 in 2004.

Note: Unless otherwise noted, neither the sources cited in Inside Wall Street nor their firms hold positions in the stocks under discussion. Similarly, they have no investment banking or other financial relationships with them.

By Gene G. Marcial

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