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BECAUSE THE first-quarter earnings at Ecology & Environment Inc. came in five cents higher than Prudential-Bache Securities analyst Vishnu Swarup had expected, he has boosted his earnings estimate for the entire year by a dime.

Swarup now says he thinks the Lancaster-based environmental services company will earn $1.35 per share during the current fiscal year. And while the stock has been selling at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than many other environmental services firms, Swarup thinks E&E's stock can handle a multiple of 12 or 13.

As a result, he says the stock could be trading for $17 or $18 within a year, compared to its present $15-$16 range.

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