The Globe and Mail reports in its Friday edition that TD Securities analyst Sean Steuart has downgraded West Fraser Timber to "buy" from "action list buy." The Globe's David Leeder writes in the Eye On Equities column that Mr. Steuart knocked his share target back by $15 to $105 (all figures U.S.). Analysts on average target the shares at $119.43. Mr. Steuart says he is "positive" on the prospects for West Fraser, though he is concerned with its lower midterm free-cash-flow estimates and tempered target multiple. Mr. Steuart says in a note: "Since we added West Fraser to the 'action list' in mid-April, the company's share price has declined 2 per cent versus an average decline of 11 per cent for key peers over the same duration. In our view, this outperformance was warranted based on value-accretive capital-deployment initiatives, but given the company's relative valuation gains, we are comfortable removing West Fraser from the 'action list.' ... We are taking a more conservative stance at the margin, given relative outperformance in recent months. We expect that the company will remain aggressive on asset-base investments and opportunistic M&A initiatives, while returning surplus capital to shareholders."
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