Salomon Upgrades Georgia Pacific to 'Buy'

Analyst Chip Dillon is impressed with the paper product company's surprise upside earnings

Salomon Smith Barney upgraded Georgia Pacific (GP ) to buy from neutral.

Analyst Chip Dillon says Q4 EPS topped the $0.15 estimate held by Salomon and First Call. He says the $0.04 upside surprise was largely due to strength on operating lines. Specifically, containerboard, pulp &, paper and building products topped estimates. Dillon says in accordance with the new accounting rule FAS142, he raised the 2002, 2003 and 2004 peak EPS estimates by $0.90 each to $1.75, $3.80 and $4.75. The upgrade is based on price, better information on asbestos liabilities and the company's debt structure.

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