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Needham Ups Opinion on FLIR to Buy From Hold

Needham raised its investment opinion on FLIR Systems (FLIR) to buy from hold on Monday, explaining that the company's stock price has cheapened even though it is likely to end stronger this year.

Analyst Jim Ricchiuti expects FLIR's seasonally weak third quarter to be followed by a strong fourth quarter finish. He believes FLIR is on track to at least meet his 27 cents earnings per share estimate for a seasonally weak third quarter. He maintained his $1.17 2005 earnings per share estimate on $546 million in revenues, and $1.44 2006 earnings per share on $650 million revenues. The analyst expects the company to come out with several promising new products and applications, along with continued strength in its Imaging Product business that will drive 22% or more earnings per share growth in 2006. The analyst believes FLIR's stock can climb to the mid- to upper $30 area with a modest multiple expansion and set a $36 price target.

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