Salomon Keeps 'Buy' on Cendant

Analyst Michael Millman refutes reports that the diversified services giant misstated its profit results

Salomon Smith Barney reiterates buy on Cendant (CD ).

Analyst Michael Millman says the pressure on the stock is due to "guilt by association" from Tyco and Enron. He also notes concerns of "sand bag" press reports, and concerns about Cendant's off-balance sheet financing. He says financing is secured and public.

Millman adds that the company's seven to eight off-balance sheet partnerships have no recourse to Cendant, and says its balance sheet is in good shape as well as leverageable. He expects the company to beat guidance when it reports on Feb. 7. Also, Millman believes Cendant's lodging, travel, existing home sales and mortgage operations are performing stronger than he originally anticipated.

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