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Barclays upgrades Dun & Bradstreet amid strategic review

Barclays analyst Manav Patnaik has upgraded Dun & Bradstreet Corp. to "overweight" from "equal weight" saying the company's decision to undertake a strategic review was the correct move.

The analyst in a note to clients said it is in the best interest of the company to go private. He said that the company has underperformed for about a decade, and a solution will require hard fixes. Patnaik believes interest from potential strategic acquirers is likely fairly low given the company's extant issues.

But the Barclays analyst believes recent new hires in the company's management will be the key to a turnaround, especially given that it will be run by its fourth CEO in 10 years. Patnaik said that Dun & Bradstreet needs additional talent upgrades, along with fixes in technology, innovation and strategic planning.

Patnaik raised his price target on the stock to $140 from $132. He also boosted his EPS estimates to $8.65 from $7.61 for 2018, and to $8.95 from $8.03 for 2019.