September 10, 2008 / 12:24 PM / in 10 years

UPDATE 1-RESEARCH ALERT-UBS ups Burlington, Norfolk to buy

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Sept 10 (Reuters) - UBS upgraded railroad firms Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp BNI.N and Norfolk Southern Corp (NSC.N), and said the U.S. railroads sector could be helped by a “particularly strong third-quarter earnings season, powered by falling fuel costs in the face of a peaking fuel surcharge.”

“We expect consensus to creep higher into earnings, most of the stocks to beat (some substantially), and the group to rally through reporting season,” analyst Rick Paterson, who raised his rating on Burlington and Norfolk to “buy” from “neutral,” said.

Paterson has a price target of $114 on Burlington’s stock, and expects third-quarter earnings of $1.75 per share at the company.

The analyst has a price target of $76 on Norfolk shares, while he expects third-quarter earnings of $1.26 a share at the company.

Shares of Burlington and Norfolk Southern closed at $96.46 and $62.56, respectively, Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Antonita Madonna Devotta in Bangalore; Editing by Pratish Narayanan)

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