Baird Keeps 'Buy' on Rockwell Automation

Analyst Richard Eastman says management's positive outlook should help drive shares higher

Baird reiterated its buy rating on Rockwell Automation (ROK ).

On Wednesday, Rockwell said it now sees fiscal 2004 earnings per share near the midpoint of the $1.35 to $1.45 guidance range, and says revenue is on track for 4% to 6% organic growth.

Analyst Richard Eastman says with concerns over organic growth in the control business in local currency during the first quarter, he views the second-quarter guidance as comforting. He believes today's announcement indicates Rockwell is tracking back toward trend-line guidance. Eastman expects to adjust his model to reflect management's new outlook. He says management had been in the penalty box, and today's announcement should drive an increase in confidence on how the year will play out, helping shares to reach his $37 target.