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BofA Merrill Lynch upgrades Houlihan Lokey to 'buy'

Bank of America Merrill Lynch analyst Michael Needham upgraded investment bank Houlihan Lokey Inc. to "buy" from "neutral."

In upgrading the stock, Needham wrote that the risk/reward is attractive considering Houlihan Lokey has the largest restructuring business in the industry. He also thinks that its shares have been too battered on fears that the M&A cycle is ending.

Houlihan Lokey has a strong balance sheet and its corporate finance business is seeing healthy trends in its growth, according to the analyst.

The investment bank's price objective was increased to $47 from $46.