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Bear Stearns Upgrades Laureate Education

Bear Stearns raised its investment recommendation on Laureate Education (LAUR) to outperform on Tuesday.

Analyst Jennifer Childe said the company's shares slid nearly 20% from a recent high of $50, following the release of second quarter results in late July. With the shares trading at 22.7 times her below-consensus 2006 estimate, she believes the price correction more appropriately values shares relative to the company's decelerating organic growth rate and the inherent risks of its international model. That said, she thinks global opportunity remains vast, and the company's first-mover advantages give it a considerable leg up relative to other players who will likely begin to pursue an international strategy over the next 12-24 months. Her year-end target remains $49.

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