Lehman Upgrades Manitowoc to Overweight

Analyst Joel Tiss expects the North American crane end markets to snap back strongly over the next few years

Lehman Brothers upgraded Manitowoc Company (MTW ) to overweight from equal-weight.

Analyst Joel Tiss says a combination of recent hurricanes, declining end market for past five-plus years, and very low inventories at the rental level channel should allow the North American crane end markets to snap back strongly over the next few years. Based on growing evidence that the overall crane industry is recovering, Manitowoc's leading market position and large historical operating leverage, Tiss is comfortable crane margins can approach 10% or higher (vs. high teens in previous cycles) vs. his 8% prior estimate.

Tiss kept $2.37 2005 EPS estimate, but raises $3.25 2006 to $3.44. He raised his $47 price target to $60.

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