October 7, 2007 / 10:42 PM / 10 years ago

Prison stocks, prisoner ranks seen rising-Barron's

NEW YORK, Oct 7 (Reuters) - Prison stocks are expected to rise despite a recent U.S. Census report pointing to a lower than expected rise in prison population, Barron's reported in its Oct. 8 edition.

The Census report, which said U.S. prisons' population is growing at 4 percent annually, countered a February study by Pew Charitable Trusts that forecast prison population to rise 13 percent annually.

Barron's said Pew's report is likely a more accurate assessment of the prison population growth as the U.S. government's report polled 37 states, compared to Pew's data from 42 states and estimates from the other eight states.

Corrections Corp of America (CXW.N), which trades at around $25, is likely see profits rise 20 percent annually and its share price could reach $30.

GEO Group Inc (GEO.N) could see shares soar to $35 from its current high-$20 levels.

Cornell Co CRN.N shares could jump by 40 percent. It closed on Friday at $26.03 on the New York Stock Exchange.

"If you have reservations about owning a stake in a harsh institution like a prison, consider this: Some of our nation's most creative CEOs now reside in prisons," Barron's said. (Reporting by Kenneth Li)

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