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i2 Technologies gains on IBM pact

Shares of i2 Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: ITWO) rocketed up 5 11/16, or 22 percent, to 31 7/8 Thursday after announcing it announcing it had formed a strategic partnership with IBM.

i2,, which makes supply chain management software, said it and IBM will collaborate on the strategy, marketing, sales, and development of supply chain software and products along with e-business tools.

The partnership includes the direct selling of i2's Rhythm suite, the firm's supply chain planning and management tools through IBM's global direct sales team, in which i2 will benefit from IBM's resources and research facilities.

IBM also said it will establish global supply chain centers of excellence featuring the combined offerings.

For its part, i2 will use the standards and technologies of IBM's Application Framework for e-business, an open, multiplatform approach to building and deploying integrated e-business applications.

Following the announcement, Soundview Technology Group upgraded i2's stock from a "buy" to a "strong buy" recommendation.

Last quarter, i2 met analyst's estimates, earning $8.5 million, or 11 cents a share, on sales of $131.4 million.

First Call consensus expects it to rake in 10 cents a share in its third quarter and 43 cents a share in the fiscal year.

Its shares peaked at 43 3/8 in July after trading at a 52-week low of 9 1/4 in October.

Eighteen of the 24 analysts following the stock rate it either a "buy" or "strong buy."