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Upgrades spark Inktomi shares

    Inktomi shares picked up 4 13/16, or 4 percent, to 124 Wednesday after a pair of brokerage firms upgraded the stock to a "buy" rating.

    First Union Securities upgraded Inktomi (Nasdaq: INKT) from a "market perform" rating to a "buy" recommendation while Lehman Brothers started it with a "buy" rating.

    Lehman Brothers said the company holds a 45 percent market share in both the caching and search engine software markets.

    It also set a 12-month price target of $150 a share.

    In its latest quarter, Inktomi earned $4.5 million, or 4 cents a share, on sales of $61.5 million.

    First Call Corp. consensus expects it to return a profit of 5 cents a share in the fourth quarter.

    Its shares raced up to a 52-week high of 241 1/2 in March after falling to a low of 46 7/8 in October.

    Sixteen of the 18 analysts tracking the stock rate it either a "buy" or "strong buy" recommendation.