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Jefferies upgrades Edison International to 'buy'

With Edison International trading at an about 4% discount to the large cap average, Jefferies LLC upgraded the company's stock to "buy" from "hold" and raised the price target to $90 from $85.

"We continue to believe [California] is a premium jurisdiction, and that despite the overhang of [San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station] and the [general rate case], this an opportunity to buy a regulated utility with above avg. organic rate base," analyst Anthony Crowdell wrote in an Aug. 11 investor note.

Although Crowdell counts the reopening of the SONGS settlement as a risk, he said its "overblown," and he doesn't expect the outcome to yield significant financial penalties. Moreover, the analyst still expects Edison subsidiary Southern California Edison Co. to experience a 6.6% rate base growth if California regulators approve CapEx levels like those recommended by the Office of Ratepayer Advocates.

Jefferies expects full-year EPS of $4.25 in 2017, $4.26 in 2018 and $4.66 in 2019 for Edison.