NEW YORK (AP) ¿ Shares of oil tanker operator Teekay Corp. rose Friday, as an analyst raised his earnings forecast a day after the company reported improved fourth-quarter results.

Jefferies & Co. analyst Douglas Mavrinac increased his estimates for this year and next, crediting better-than-expected charter rates and reduced cost expectations for the fourth-quarter adjusted results that beat Wall Street's predictions. He also raised his 12-month prices target to $18 from $16.

He praised the company's significant liquidity and secure cash position that he says will allow it to weather challenging market conditions ahead.

But Mavrinac maintained his "Hold" rating on the stock, noting shares should not move much as charter rates should fall as many companies significantly grow their fleets.

Shares rose 41 cents to $17.46 in afternoon trading.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.