Ahead Of The Bell: Illinois Tool Works Upgraded

NEW YORK (AP) ¿ Shares of Illinois Tool Works Inc. are set to rise given the company's strong 2010 revenue outlook and cheap stock price, said an analyst on Monday as she upgraded the industrial equipment maker's stock.

Shares of the company rose 95 cents to $48.94 in premarket trading.

FBR Capital Markets analyst Deane Dray said the stock price offers an attractive entry point for investors, especially after the company projected 2010 revenue growth between 6 percent and 8 percent at its outlook meeting last Friday.

Dray said this "impressive" forecast prompted her to raise her 2010 and 2011 profit estimates to $2.85 per share and $3.45 per share, up from $2.70 per share and $3.30 per share, respectively. The company will not release its 2010 earnings outlook until it reports fourth quarter results in January.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters project 2010 and 2011 earnings of $2.67 per share and $3.28 per share.

Dray upgraded her rating on the Glenview, Ill. company to "Outperform" from "Market Perform," and raised her price target to $58 from $55.

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