Ahead of the Bell: Citi upbeat on Convergys

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NEW YORK (AP) — Fourth-quarter results for Convergys Corp. should show the beginning of a recovery and start pushing the company’s shares higher, a Citi Investment Research analyst said Monday.

Citi’s Ashwin Shirvaikar added the Cincinnati company, which reports earnings later this month, to the bank’s “Top Picks Live” list in a note to clients and hiked his price target for shares to $14.50 from $14.

Shirvaikar said better-than-expected consumer spending trends should lead to improving call center volumes for Convergys. The company handles back-office operations such as billing and human resources for other businesses.

The company was hurt last year by falling sales during the recession and delays in implementing human resources contracts.

Shirvaikar said a strong quarter should also help drive other factors that could boost the share price, such as debt repayment.