24 March 2003 00:00 [Source: ICB Americas]Buckingham Research analyst John Roberts has initiated coverage of Sigma-Aldrich Corp. with an "accumulate" rating based on expected sales growth of 10 percent and operating margins above 20 percent. "Sigma-Aldrich has met or exceeded earnings per share estimates in each quarter since September 2001," Mr. Roberts notes. "The company has little exposure to energy and economic swings, and no one customer comprises more than 2 percent of sales." The analyst expects Sigma-Aldrich to generate $2 per share in cash flow in 2003, and has a price target of $52 on the stock. Sigma-Aldrich currently trades ataround $45. Mr. Roberts also upgraded Monsanto Company from "neutral" to "accumulate" on valuation as shares recently fell to an all-time low of $13.55 on an inquiry by the US Department of Justice on anticompetitive practices in the glyphosate market.
Banc of America Securities analyst Mark Gulley has initiated coverage of Airgas Inc. with a "buy" rating and a 12-month price target of $23. Shares of Airgas currently trade at around $18. The analyst sees Airgas as "a way to play the US manufacturing sector.
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