U.S. aerospace and defence contractor Textron Inc. has earned mixed reviews from analysts after delivering fourth quarter profit from continuing operations of $1.02 (U.S.), 10 cents better than the street consensus, but unveiling guidance for this year that was below analysts' forecasts. While the street was forecasting 2008 share profit of $4.03, Textron is saying it expects the number to come in at between $3.75 and $3.95. As a result, analysts Jeffrey Sprague at Citigroup and David Bleustein at UBS Securities, for instance, have cut their price targets for Textron's shares, the former to $62 from $76, and the latter to $68 from $76. Nevertheless, Mr. Bleustein has maintained the "buy" recommendation he has on the shares, which, he told clients in a note, reflect "an attractive valuation and continued strength in the business jet market." And Mr. Sprague has upgraded his recommendation on Textron to "buy" from "hold," for much the same reasons. "Textron still offers exceptional visibility in both its helicopter and jet businesses," he told clients in a note. "We see continued strong growth through the end of the decade."
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