Needham Upgrades BTU International to 'Buy'

Analyst Robert Stern says sees a good deal of potential upside as the chip-equipment industry recovers

Needham upgraded BTU International (BTUI ) to buy from hold.

Analyst Robert Stern says BTU is one of the lowest valued companies in his coverage universe. He says the surface mount solder reflow business has started to turn up; this business is severely depressed, thus offering a good deal of potential upside as the industry recovers. He thinks BTU should be close to breaking even, if it hasn't already, by the fourth quarter of 2004.

Sterns says business picked up in the third quarter, seen in particular through good order flow from reflow systems for surface mount circuit boards. He narrowed the $1.02 2003 loss per share estimate to a 95 cents loss, and narrowed the 63 cents 2004 loss per share estimate to a 34 cents loss per share. Stern has a $7 target.

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