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Prudential Ups Tyson Foods to Neutral

Standard & Poor's Equity Research

Prudential upgraded Tyson Foods (TSN) to neutral from underweight, after the company named Richard Bond President and CEO.

Analyst John McMillin says he was worried that President and COO Richard Bond was on his way out, but in a surprising development he's been promoted to CEO and his contract has been extended to 2009. He believes that, combined with the arrival of a new CFO from Procter & Gamble, this new CEO appointment builds a new management structure that looks a lot stronger to him. He thinks they may be more capable of building a protein powerhouse that can leverage the strengths of three businesses. He raises his 10 cents fiscal year 2006 (ending September) earnings per share (EPS) estimate to 15 cents and his 90 cents fiscal year 2007 estimate to $1.00. He also raises his $12 stock price target to $16.

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