Morgan Stanley Ups Halliburton to 'Overweight'

Analyst Ole Slorer thinks the company will soon settle its asbestos liability cases, which could boost the stock

Morgan Stanley upgraded Halliburton (HAL ) to overweight from equal-weight.

Analyst Ole Slorer says a preliminary global settlement of the company's asbestos liability is fairly imminent. He sees a positive impact on valuation. Slorer thinks the company will make use of the bankruptcy code for the formation of a 524(g) trust; approval of such trust could shield the company from future asbestos claims.

Slorer notes the stock currently is trading at a discount of $4.8 billion to $6 billion from where it would stand without the asbestos issue. He says confidence in his $25 target has increased as a result of the pending settlement of the asbestos claim. Slorer sees $0.23 fourth quarter earnings per share, and 88 cents for 2002.