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Stifel Nicolaus Ups Chicago Bridge & Iron to Buy

From Standard & Poor's Equity Research

Stifel Nicolaus upgraded Chicago Bridge & Iron (CBI) to buy from hold, after the company on Thursday posted first quarter results.

Analyst Barry Bannister says that in a good start to 2006, the company posted first quarter revenue of $647 million and a 35% year over year increase. He says 13 cents first quarter earnings per share (EPS) vs. the 19 cents Street mean and his 20 cents estimate lagged due to higher Selling General & Administrative (charges for internal reexamination and SFAS 123 options.) He estimates a backlog for the first quarter was $3.4 billion, up 7% quarter over quarter. He sees 96 cents 2006 EPS and $1.21 in 2007.

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