Upgrade rekindles interest in VA Linux

VA Linux shares rallied up 5 3/16, or 15 percent, to 39 7/16 Wednesday after Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown upgraded the stock from a "buy" recommendation to a "strong buy."

Analyst Phil Rueppel made the call but was not immediately available for comment.

The upgrade comes just a few weeks after the stock fell to a 52-week low of 26 1/2. VA Linux shares soared up to an all-time high of 320 back in December.

VA Linux (Nasdaq: LNUX) and Red Hat (Nasdaq: RHAT), two of the leaders in the Linux-based operating system software market, have both suffered huge losses in the past eight months.

Red Hat, which was up 1/2 to 20 3/16 Wednesday, hit a 52-week high of 151 5/16 in December.

In its latest quarter, VA Linux beat the Street, losing $4.5 million, or 13 cents a share, on sales of $34.6 million.

First Call Corp. consensus expects it to lose 15 cents a share in its fourth quarter.

All six analysts following the stock rate it either a "buy" or "strong buy" recommendation.