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Cognos jumps on upside surprise, upgrades

Cognos (Nasdaq: COGN) rose 23 percent Wednesday morning after analysts upgraded the company based on its third quarter earnings.

Shares in the company, which makes "business intelligence" software, were up 8 7/8 to 47.

Merrill Lynch upgraded the stock to "near-term buy" from accumulate, and raised its price objective on the stock to $58. First Albany also upgraded the stock to "buy" from "neutral."

Cognos beat third quarter expectations and showed 41 percent growth in its key "Business Intelligence" product line. Total revenue for the company was up 28 percent to $97.8 million. Earnings per share were reported at 32 cents a share, a penny ahead of consensus.

Cognos should maintain its leadership in the Business Intelligence, of "BI" space, and "play catch up with its peers in the sector on the back of these strong results," said Merrill Lynch analyst Alex Baluta in a report.

Company officials were generally upbeat about the prospects for upcoming quarters. In the quarter, 61 percent of Cognos' business came from North America, 32 percent from Europe and 7 percent from Asia/Pacific.