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General Semiconductor jumps on analyst upgrade

    General Semiconductor Inc. (NYSE: SEM) shot up 1 5/16, or 14 percent, to 10 15/16 Monday after Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette raised the chipmaker from a "market perform" rating to a "buy" recommendation.

    The upgrade comes less than a week after General Semiconductor checked in with a third-quarter profit of $14.8 million, or 17 cents a share, on sales of $105.8 million.

    The $105.8 million in sales represents a 9 percent improvement compared to the year-ago quarter when it raked in $12.4 million, or 16 cents a share, on sales of $97.2 million.

    "We are very pleased with the third quarter results. We have entered the fourth quarter of 1999 in the strongest position we have seen in the last three years," said CEO Ronald Ostertag in a prepared release. "Our order backlog is strong, the book to bill ratio has strengthened, pricing has stabilized and capacity utilization has improved, all presaging a period of earnings improvement."

    General Semiconductor shares moved up to a high of 12 15/16 in September after falling to a low of 5 3/4 in March.

    Following the upgrade, both analysts following the stock maintain "buy" recommendation on the stock.