UBS Raises Adolph Coors to Buy

Analyst Caroline Levy says despite the beer maker's dour outloook for 2003, the sell-off was overblown

UBS Warburg upgraded Adolph Coors (RKY ) to buy from neutral.

On Thursday the beer maker posted 63 cents fourth quarter operating earnings per share. Analyst Caroline Levy says the risk/reward is attractive at current levels, especially given the 10% free cash flow yield. She notes earnings per share flexibility as a result of an aggressive cost-efficiency drive, which should save the company $1.50 per share annually over the next five years.

Levy cut her $5.00 2003 earnings per share estimate to $4.80, and sees $5.40 for 2004. She thinks tough weather comparisons in the fourth quarter of 2002 and the first quarter of 2003 could keep the stock soft in the very near-term, but she adds that Coors has a lot of factors to accelerate its revenue growth by the second quarter, especially in the second half of the year.

Levy also cut her $68 target to $61 to reflect slower-than-expected 2003 growth.

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