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Tech Data gains on upgrade

Shares of Tech Data Corp. (Nasdaq: TECD) shot up 4, or 12 percent, to 36 5/8 Wednesday after Banc of America Securities upgraded the computer equipment distributor from a "buy" recommendation to "strong buy."

Analyst Kurt King said he upgraded Tech Data based on its limited near-term distributor alliance program, exposure and strong long-term fundamentals.

King also said he was comfortable with estimates for Tech Data, including the First Call consensus estimates of 54 cents a share in the second quarter. Tech Data also appears undervalued because it's trading at only 10 times King's fiscal 2000 earnings estimate of $3.10 a share.

Last quarter, Tech Data topped Street estimates, earning $28 million, or 53 cents a share, on sales of $3.8 billion.

The stock moved up to a 52-week high of 53 1/8 in September before falling to a low of 14 1/2 in March.

Following Wednesday's upgrade, 15 of the 18 analysts following the stock maintain either a "buy" or "strong buy" recommendation.

First Call consensus pegs it for a profit of $2.42 a share in the fiscal year.

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