NEW YORK (Feb. 11)—One analyst has upgraded Goodyear's stock while another didn´t but said it has some upside potential if the company gets an extension of its bank credit lines. Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co.´s Stephen Girsky upgraded the tire maker´s rating to "equal weight" from "underweight," reflecting "the diminished probability of a near-term liquidity problem." He pointed out that the company continues to face major operational and financial issues but it´s taking steps to increase its financial flexibility. That was followed by a report issued Feb. 10 by J.P. Morgan Securities Inc.´s David Bradley, who continues to rate Goodyear underweight because he's uncertain about the firm's long-term prospects. However, "we see potential for some near-term upgrade in the likely event of the extension of bank credit lines or other good news," said Bradley. Events that could trigger an increase in the tire producer's share price, in addition to a credit line extension, would be a favorable resolution of any war with Iraq and a credible restructuring plan, he said. An extension of Goodyear's credit line "could buy the firm up to another year to develop and implement a restructuring plan," he said.
Tire maker draws improved rating
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