Equity analysts Legg Mason have upgraded the US brewer Adolph Coors Co to buy from hold.

Legg Mason's analysts said the merger with Molson was of greater value than originally believed.

In a note to investors, analyst Mark Swartzberg set a 12-month price target of US$86 a share and forecast 13% earnings per share growth in 2005, to US$5.38 a share.

Swartzberg said that Coors Light sales in particular are expected to improve because low-carbohydrate dieting is declining and Coors' Cold advertising campaign is working.