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Ahead Of The Bell: Met-Pro Upgrade At Brean Murray

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) ¿ Investors should begin buying shares of Met-Pro Corp. since the shares have fallen back to a level that makes them a good value, an analyst said Monday.

Michael Gaugler of Brean Murray Carret & Co. upgraded his rating on the the Harleysville, Pa., manufacturer of pollution control technologies to "Buy" from "Hold" and set a $12 price target.

Met-Pro's third quarter results were slightly weaker than he expected, but its shares have pulled back enough for investors to jump in, he said.

Met-Pro closed at $9.24 Friday, down 14 percent from its most recent high of $10.80 on Aug. 21.

In addition, big-ticket orders have risen recently "and we believe there are opportunities across all its business units to secure substantive project sizes" in the range of $3 million to $5 million, Gaugler said in a client note.

Friday, Met-Pro said net income of $1 million, or 7 cents per share, was down from $3 million, or 20 cents per share, in the same period last year. Revenue of $19.8 million for the quarter ended Oct. 31 was down 29 percent from $28 million in the year-ago period.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected it to earn 12 cents per share on revenue of $22.6 million.

Gaugler said that despite the substantial drop in sales, overall margins held up "rather well."

"Met-Pro is proving itself to be very adept at managing its business through tough economic conditions," he said.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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