CSFB Ups Recommendation on Energy Partners

Analyst Tracy Tadaro thinks the small, sharply-focused exploration firm is a top value pick

CS First Boston upgraded Energy Partners (EPL ) to strong buy from buy.

Analyst Tracy Tadaro says she thinks Energy Partner's growth outlook, upside potential, strong balance sheet and valuation all are working in investors' favor. She says small, focused explorers with great balance sheets have dominated value creation tables in recent years, and thinks Energy Partners is positioned to join the ranks of overachievers.

Tadaro raised her $1.07 EPS estimate to $1.16, raised her $0.65 2002 estimate to $0.79. She also raised the $3.80 2001 cash-flow-per-share estimate to $4.00, and raised the $3.36 2002 to $3.59. Tadaro notes the estimates were increased to reflect her recently raised oil-and-gas price forecast. She has a $21 target.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.