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Legg Mason Upgrades Ryder System


Legg Mason upgrades truck leasing company Ryder System (R) to buy from hold.

Analyst John Larkin tells salesforce upgrading primarily on valuation. He notes the stock has fallen 37% from a 52-week high it reached in Dec. 2004. At about 9.9 times his $3.55 2006 earnings per share estimate, he believes the stock has found downside support.

He sets a $44 price target, or 11.5 times his 2007 earnings per share estimate of $3.80. He notes the company has accomplished much of CEO Greg Swienton's repositioning agenda -- including eliminating unprofitable business and cutting overhead costs -- and now looks to grow this profitable enterprise.

Larkin expects the company to begin growing its core Full Service Leasing business again soon.


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