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Weyerhaeuser Rises After Analyst Hikes Rating

NEW YORK (AP) ¿ Shares of Weyerhaeuser Co., one of the top U.S. timberlands owners and wood products makers, rose Monday after an analyst upgraded the stock's rating, saying a recent price decline has gone too far.

Just five months ago the stock was above $60; last week it closed below $20.

Among the reasons for the decrease are a worsening housing slump and corresponding wood products price declines, weak demand for pulp used to make paper products, and a tight credit market, Deutsche Bank-North America analyst Mark Wilde said Monday in a client note.

"Despite all the bad news, we think the sell-off has gone too far," Wilde said, raising his rating to "Buy" from "Hold."

"Even compared to the relatively depressed valuations of its peers, Weyerhaeuser stock now looks attractively valued," he wrote.

Wilde maintained his price target of $30 on the assumption that the Federal Way, Wash.-based company will convert itself into a real estate investment trust.

In midday trading, shares rose $1.95, or 8.2 percent, to $25.78. Since the beginning of the year the stock has fallen about 16 percent, just slightly more than the S&P 500 stock index. In the last 52 weeks, the stock has fallen 61.6 percent.

Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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