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Palfinger Falls After Erste Says Stock Is Too Expensive

Feb. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Palfinger AG, the world’s biggest maker of truck-mounted cranes, fell the most in nine months after an Erste Group Bank AG analyst said the manufacturer is too expensive versus competitors such as Cargotec Oyj.

Palfinger dropped as much as 4.9 percent, the biggest intraday decline since April 23, and traded 2.8 percent lower at 20.75 euros at 1:05 p.m. in Vienna, giving the company a market value of 741 million euros ($1 billion). That pared the gain this year to 26 percent, still the second-biggest increase on the Austrian benchmark ATX Prime index. Volume exceeded the three-month daily average by 74 percent.

“The peer group comparison shows that, based on our revised estimates, Palfinger already trades at a premium” against “major peers” that also include Terex Corp., Manitou BF SA and Konecranes Oyj, Gerald Walek, a Vienna-based analyst at Erste, said in a note in which he recommended clients no longer buy the shares. “This shows the limited short-term upside potential for the stock.”

Palfinger, which sells cranes mainly to builders and freight-transport companies, expanded into China last year to tap into a construction boom. The Salzburg, Austria-based company has predicted a “moderate” revenue increase for 2012, coming from business areas outside of Europe.

Palfinger, which is scheduled to report fourth-quarter earnings on Feb. 11, will show a performance that’s “burdened by weak European markets,” Walek said in the note.

To contact the reporter on this story: Boris Groendahl in Vienna at bgroendahl@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net

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