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Earnings, upgrades spark Solectron shares

Solectron shares marched up 4 11/16, or 12 percent, to 44 11/16 Tuesday after analysts upgraded the stock following its solid second-quarter earnings report.

In the quarter, Solectron (NYSE: SLR) matched analysts' estimates, posting a profit of $117 million, or 38 cents a share, on sales of $2.9 billion.

First Call consensus expected it to earn 19 cents a share on a post-split basis.

On Tuesday, DLJ upgraded the stock from a "buy" recommendation to its "top pick" category while CS First Boston reiterated its "buy" rating and bumped its 12-month price target from $45 to $50 a share.

The $2.9 billion in sales marks a 32 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter when it earned $65.5 million, or 26 cents a share, on sales of $2.16 billion.

Including a series of one-time charges related to the acquisition of Smart Modular Technologies, Solectron earned $100 million, or 32 cents a share, in the quarter.

Without those one-time charges, Solectron's second quarter operating margin was 5.7 percent and its annualized return on equity was 14.1 percent. With one-time charges, the operating margin was 4.8 percent.

Last quarter, Solectron met analysts' estimates, earning $101.5 million, or 36 cents a share, on sales of $2.5 billion.

Its shares moved up to a post-split high of 49 in December after falling to a low of 21 3/4 last March.

Twenty-four of the 25 analysts tracking the stock maintain either a "buy" or "strong buy" recommendation.

First Call consensus expects it to earn 85 cents a share in the fiscal year.