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BEA Systems hits 52-week high

BEA Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BEAS) shares moved up 7 3/4, or 12 percent, to a 52-week high of 73 15/16 Thursday after a pair of brokerage firms issued positive reports on the business software developer.

SG Cowen upgraded the stock from a "buy" to a "strong buy" recommendation. CS First Boston reiterated its "buy" rating and raised its 12-month price target to $107 a share.

On Wednesday, BEA Systems shelled out $100 million to acquire a Java start-up called Theory Center, which makes software for creating e-commerce Web sites.

CS First Boston analyst Wendell Laidley said BEA Systems expects to generate enough revenue from the Theory Center that the deal will be non-dilutive.

Last quarter, BEA Systems beat Street estimates, earning $6 million, or 7 cents a share, on sales of $103.2 million.

First Call consensus expects it to earn 10 cents a share in the third quarter and 36 cents a share in the fiscal year.

Its shares fell to a low of 8 11/16 in December.

Nine of the 11 analysts following the stock maintain either a "buy" or "strong buy" recommendation.

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