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Tech Industry

Comverse jumps on earnings, analyst comments

Comverse Technology Inc. (Nasdaq: CMVT) shares picked up 4 1/2, or 6 percent, to 82 1/2 Wednesday, one day after it topped Street estimates in its second quarter.

In the quarter, Comverse made $40.4 million, or 52 cents a share, on record sales of $209.2 million.

First Call consensus pegged it for a profit of 49 cents a share.

On Wednesday, Lehman Brothers raised its 12-month price target from $100 a share to $105 a share. It also bumped its fiscal 1999 and fiscal 2000 earnings estimates to $2.07 a share and $2.48 a share, respectively.

The $209.2 million in sales represents a 25 percent improvement versus the year-ago quarter when it earned $26 million, or 36 cents a share, on sales of $167.4 million.

"The increase in second quarter sales reflects continued strong demand for Comverse's products," said CEO Kobi Alexander in a prepared release.

Last quarter, Comverse hurdled the consensus estimate, earning $36.5 million, or 40 cents a share, on sales of $160.4 million.

Comverse, which markets and supports computer and telecommunications systems and software for multimedia communications and information processing applications, is rated either a "buy" or "strong buy" by all 11 analysts following the stock.

After splitting 3-for-2 in April, the stock rallied to a 52-week high of 83 1/16 in July. It bottomed out at 19 9/16 in October.