Prudential Upgrades Boston Beer

Analyst Jeffrey Kanter says the maker of Sam Adams should benefit first if major brewers are successful in bringing beer drinkers back to the category

Prudential upgrades craft brewing company Boston Beer (SAM ) to overweight from neutral.

Analyst Jeffrey Kanter says Boston Beer's valuation is not as rich as it seems thanks to $4.25 per share of cash on books that gives management shareholder-friendly options.

He says direct shipping to the consumer and perhaps retailer makes Boston Beer more valuable. He says, if the major brewers are successful in bringing beer drinkers back to the category, Boston Beer should benefit first.

Kanter adds that Boston Beer's risk/reward ratio reminds him of "heads we win, tails we tie," which he notes is a profile he typically likes. He raises his $24 target to $26. He maintains his $1.00 2005 earnings per share and $1.14 2006 earnings per share estimates.

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