Merrill Upgrades URS Corp. to Buy

Analyst Lorraine Maikis sees several earnings growth drivers for the design firm

Merrill Lynch upgraded URS Corp. URS to buy from neutral.

Analyst Lorraine Maikis says URS is the largest domestic design firm. She views its record backlog levels, improving capital structure, and strong free-cash flow as solid growth drivers. She notes the recent 30% decline in the stock is triggered by engineering and consulting competitors' comments about slow moving projects and margin weakness.

Maikis says because URS generates only 5% of revenues from construction services, these large project issues have very little effect. She would use the weakness caused by the misperception as a buying opportunity. She set a $30 price objective.

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