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UPDATE: Imperial Capital Upgrades Chiquita Brands International to Outperform, Raises PT

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In a report published Wednesday, Imperial Capital upgraded its rating on Chiquita Brands International (NYSE: CQB) from Underperform to Outperform, and raised its price target from $4.00 to $8.00.

Imperial Capital noted, “We expect Chiquita to benefit from a lower cost structure—including an additional $60mn in annual cost savings slated to be completed by the end of 3Q12, potentially saving $8mn in 4Q12; initiatives to improve quality and execution, plus higher volumes in its salads business, just as a new CEO is likely to be announced...Further cost reductions, volume growth initiatives, and a newly appointed CEO should lead to a significant recovery in profitability in 2013 that will likely drive bond and share prices higher, in our view. We estimate EBITDA to nearly double in 2013 to $154.5mn, from $77.5mn in 2012, up from our previous 2013 estimate of $124.6mn, largely driven by the newly announced $60mn in cost savings—we assume $35mn is realized in 2013 following $8mn in 4Q12, with the balance absorbed by other cost increases and/or pricing give-up associated with potential new contract wins in its salads business—inferring there may be significant upside to our estimate.”

Chiquita Brands International closed on Tuesday at $5.78.

Posted-In: imperial capitalAnalyst Color Upgrades Analyst Ratings


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