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Tech Industry

Web security stocks on the rise

    A trio of Internet security software providers made strong gains Tuesday after Prudential Securities blessed them with upgrades.

    RSA Security Inc. (Nasdaq: RSAS) shares shot up 13 3/16, or 18 percent, to a 52-week high of 86 1/8 after analyst Paul Merenbloom upgraded it from a "hold" recommendation to a "strong buy."

    In its latest quarter, RSA Security posted a profit of $9.9 million, or 23 cents a share, on sales of $62 million.

    First Call consensus expects it to earn 19 cents a share in the first quarter.

    The stock is rated either a "buy" or "strong buy" by 12 of the 15 analysts covering it.

    Merenbloom also boosted Check Point Software Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: CHKP) from an "accumulate" to a "strong buy."

    Its shares moved up 17 1/2, or 7 percent, to a 52-week high of 254.

    In its latest quarter, Check Point hurdled analysts' estimates, earning $29.8 million, or 70 cents a share, on sales of $67.9 million.

    Analysts are expecting first-quarter earnings of 38 cents a share.

    Axent Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: AXNT) moved up 2 3/16, or 10 percent, to 32 3/16 after Merenbloom bumped it from a "hold" rating to a "strong buy."

    Axent posted a profit of $3.3 million, or 12 cents a share, on sales of $36.4 million in its fourth quarter.

    First Call consensus expects it to earn a penny a share in its first quarter.