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Advisory Board Co. Hits 52-week High After Upgrade

NEW YORK (AP) ¿ Shares of health care consulting firm The Advisory Board Co. on Monday rose to their highest price in more than a year after an analyst upgraded the stock.

William Blair & Co. analyst Corey Tobin raised his rating to "Outperform" from "Market Perform," saying the company's products, research and expertise are still valuable, and its revenue growth should recover after a down year. Tobin assumed coverage from Brandon Dobell on Friday.

"While we believe significant hospital budget headwinds hampered growth of the research product through much of 2009, management has continued to invest in its overall product offering," Tobin wrote.

In afternoon trading, shares of the Washington D.C., company gained $1.71, or 5.6 percent, to $32.36. Earlier they rose to $32.91, which was their highest price since September 2008.

Tobin expects The Advisory Board to earn $1.09 per share in fiscal 2010, up from $1.03. On average analysts expect $1.13 per share for the year ending in March, according to Thomson Reuters.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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