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Ahead Of The Bell: JBT Downgraded

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) ¿ Despite excellent prospects for its business, shares of John Bean Technologies Corp. are only fairly valued, an analyst said Friday as he downgraded the manufacturer of airport and food-processing equipment.

Analyst Liam D. Burke of Janney Montgomery Scott downgraded the Chicago company to "Neutral" from "Buy."

The company is well positioned to take advantage of long-term growth trends of airline passenger traffic and air cargo shipments, he said in a note to clients. And the company has a steady stream of revenue to offset slower equipment sales.

"Although we are looking at an uncertain economic environment, the company's market diversification, without a heavy weighting of revenue in one geographic market, is, in our view, an important factor in its positioning for an economic recovery," he said.

Even with an uncertain outlook for the rest of the year, JBT should be able to deliver high returns on investment and strong free cash flow, Burke said.

He values the company at $18.50 per share. Shares closed at $18.49 Thursday.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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