Polypore Upgraded to Buy at Topeka Capital Markets (PPO)

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Polypore (NYSE: PPO) was upgraded by research analysts at Topeka Capital Markets from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report released on Thursday, ARN reports. The firm currently has a $46.00 target price on the stock, up from their previous target price of $37.00.

The analysts wrote, “PPO will remain controversial, with bulls/bears debating the ultimate EDV adoption curve slope/rate, and the specter of increasing competition creating an occasional cloud of uncertainty. But with PPO down 18% since our January downgrade, with 1Q13 expectations sufficiently low, with an improving likelihood that an EDV-driven demand inflection may be imminently forthcoming, and considering the stock’s still-substantial 34% short interest, we suddenly see more reasons to be bullish again. When the ultimate positive demand inflection — that we have been expecting to drive operating leverage, as well as PPO’s multiple — is abundantly obvious, it will likely be too late to chase the stock. Hence, our upgrade to Buy now. A more modest valuation also helps support our renewed favorable view, with PPO trading at just 14X our 2014 EPS projection on a P/E basis. Note also, with curtailed cap-ex, PPO will be generating meaningful FCF starting this year.”

Polypore (NYSE: PPO) traded up 1.99% on Thursday, hitting $39.91. Polypore has a 52-week low of $30.39 and a 52-week high of $48.42. The stock’s 50-day moving average is currently $40.00. The company has a market cap of $1.860 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 26.09.

Polypore (NYSE: PPO) last released its earnings data on Wednesday, February 20th. The company reported $0.43 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters consensus estimate of $0.52 by $0.09. The company had revenue of $180.20 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $191.82 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.58 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 5.7% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts predict that Polypore will post $1.97 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports about the stock. Analysts at Zacks downgraded shares of Polypore from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating in a research note to investors on Tuesday, February 26th. They now have a $34.60 price target on the stock. Separately, analysts at TheStreet upgraded shares of Polypore from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note to investors on Monday, February 25th. Finally, analysts at Wedbush downgraded shares of Polypore from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note to investors on Thursday, February 21st. They now have a $38.00 price target on the stock, down previously from $46.00.

Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $40.29.

Polypore International, Inc. is a global high technology filtration company that develops, manufactures and markets specialized microporous membranes used in separation and filtration processes.

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