Prudential Securities analyst Michael P. Durante Wednesday reiterated his buy rating on Mercury Finance Co. stock, saying it appears increasingly likely that the embattled auto lender can avoid bankruptcy.

The buy recommendation comes less than two weeks after a $2.26 billion plunge in the Lake Forest, Ill., subprime lender's market valuation, which was triggered by the disclosure of accounting irregularities that had inflated the last four years' earnings.

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