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ICG Communications gets a boost

Communications services provider ICG Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: ICGX) picked up 1 3/16, or 6 percent, to 21 11/16 after Merrill Lynch upgraded the stock.

Last quarter, ICG lost $86.3 million, or $1.85 a share, on sales of $129.5 million.

Merrill Lynch upped it from a near-term "neutral" rating to near-term "accumulate" and from a long-term "accumulate" to a long-term "buy" recommendation.

A survey of analysts by Zack's Investment Research Inc. pegs ICG for a loss of $1.73 a share in its second quarter and $6.64 a share for the fiscal year.

The stock hit a 52-week high of 37 3/16 in June before swooning to a low of 11 1/8 in October.

Fifteen of the 19 analysts following the stock rate it either a "buy" or "strong buy.">