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First Albany Upgrades C&D Technologies

First Albany upgraded C&D Technologies (CHP) to buy from neutral.

Analyst Craig Irwin says he sees an improving outlook for C&D Technologies, with likely benefit from falling commodity costs. He notes lead, which accounts for about 20% of cost of goods sold, has fallen about 10% over the past few weeks to 40 centa a pound. He says, while his estimates expect lead prices to remain around current levels, most lead analysts anticipate further price drops in calendar year 2005 and 2006.

Meanwhile, Irwin holds a positive view of the company's recently appointed CEO, despite his limited experience.

He increased his earnings per share estimates from 15 cents for fiscal year 2006 (January) to 27 cents, and 55 cents for fiscal year 2007 to 70 cents. He set a $14 price target on the stock.

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