FLIR Surges on Raymond James Upgrade

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - FLIR Systems ( FLIR) took off Tuesday after a Raymond James report upgraded the firm's rating from "Market Perform" to "Strong Buy."

FLIR systems were soaring 6.2% to $26.50 in afternoon trading. FLIR has gained 19% in the past 12 months.

Raymond James analysts, led by Brian Gesuale, raised FLIR's price target to $33.00 after reviewing the firm's improving business dynamics and expected asymmetrical sales growth. The report deemed government cut backs will spur FLIR's growth as they are now encouraged to look for new sources of revenue.

The Raymond James analysts expressed confidence in domestic growth in sales and stability in the European markets. The report also indicated that the Raymarine division, which creates radars, radios, autopilot devices and GPS models, is expected to expand in the future.

The Wilsonville, OR- based company produces cameras and dictators that utilize thermal imaging, night vision and stabilized camera systems. FLIR System has contracts with Mercedes and the U.S. military and government. It is expected that integrating detectors into their Digimerge security cameras will move even more revenue.

In December 2012, FLIR acquired Lorex for $60 million or $1.32 a share. Lorex, a Canadian firm, focused on high tech home security cameras. The analysts see lower Research and Development funds in the future but predict increased product development and integration focused on past investments, like Lorex, and existing systems.

FLIR Systems has a market cap of $3.4 billion. FLIR recently changed CEOs. Earl Lewis, 69, stepped down as president and CEO after 13 years. Lewis was replaced by FLIR's President of the commercial system division, Andrew Teich.

Written by Robert Arenella in New York

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