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Disk-drive stocks rally on upgrades

A trio of disk-drive stocks made strong gains Wednesday after Banc of America Securities analyst Paul Fox upgraded the stocks. Quantum HDD, Seagate Technology and Maxtor all rose in heavy trading.

All three stocks were upgraded from a "market perform" recommendation to a "buy" based on a supply and demand imbalance for desktop computers.

First Call consensus expects Quantum HDD to report a loss of 33 cents a share in its third quarter.

Its shares moved up to a 52-week high of 9 3/16 in September after trading at a low of 5 1/2 in November.

Seagate Technology Inc. (NYSE: SEG), which topped reduced estimates in its first quarter, watched its stock gain 2 5/16 to 37 1/16 Wednesday.

First Call consensus expects it to return a profit of 9 cents a share in its second quarter.

Maxtor Corp. (Nasdaq: MXTR) shares rallied up 1 7/16, or 24 percent, to 7 3/8. In January, the stock was trading at a 52-week high of 21 1/4.

Analysts expect Maxtor to lose 46 cents a share in its fourth quarter.

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