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Computer Associates pushes higher on upgrade

Computer Associates Inc. (NYSE: CA) shares shot up 2 7/16, or 5 percent, to 53 5/8 Tuesday after receiving its second upgrade in as many days.

SoundView Technology Group raised the software developer from a long-term "attractive" recommendation to a "buy."

On Monday, ABN-AMRO bumped it from a "hold" to a "buy" on expectations that it will report strong sales growth and earnings in its second quarter.

ABN-AMRO analyst Robert Johnson said Computer Associate's "pipeline appears to be improving" and that it will report earnings-per-shares growth of about 31 percent in the quarter.

First Call consensus expects it to earn 59 cents a share in the quarter and $2.70 a share in the fiscal year.

Last quarter, it easily hurdled Street estimates, raking in $249 million, or 49 cents a share, on sales of $1.22 billion.

ABN-AMRO set a 12-month price target of $68 a share.

CA shares marched up to a 52-week high of $58 in July after trading at a low of $26 a share in September.

Fifteen of the 26 analysts following the stock maintain either a "buy" or "strong buy" recommendation.