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B of A Ups Coca-Cola To Buy From Neutral

Banc Of America raised its investment recommendation on Coca-Cola (KO) to buy from neutral on Tuesday, citing factors such as the beverage company's earnings and valuation.

Analyst Bryan Spillane sees potential $0.06 earnings per share upside in his estimate on the stock due to Coca-Cola's good momentum in the second half, among other things. Spillane noted that the emerging markets already performed strongly in the first half of the year. Meanwhile Coca-Cola stock is trading at prices near historic lows at 18.8 times Spillane's next 12-month earnings per share estimate, excluding options expenses. His $48 price target implies p-e of 20.5 times. Spillane sees the stock having $2.13 earnings per share for 2005, and $2.28 earnings per share for 2006.

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