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Ahead of the Bell: Barnes Group

NEW YORK (AP) -- An analyst upgraded his rating for the Barnes Group on Monday, partly due to the company's decision to sell its North American distribution business.

Matt Summerville of KeyBanc Capital Markets raised Barnes Group's rating to "Buy" from "Hold" and gave it a $33 price target.

Barnes Group Inc. makes parts for aerospace and other industries. The company is selling the North American distribution business to MSC Industrial Direct for $550 million.

The analyst said in a client note that Barnes Group will likely see better overall margins thanks to the sale. Summerville expects the company to use the proceeds of the sale to lower its debt, buy back shares and make acquisitions.

Summerville also anticipates that Barnes Group's $335 million acquisition of Synventive Molding Solutions will add to its operating margin.

Barnes Group shares finished at $27.83 on Friday. Its shares have traded in a 52-week range of $19.71 to $29.11 over the past 52 weeks.