Upgrade sparks Computer Associates shares

Computer Associates shares moved up $2.90, or 8 percent, to $38.25 Tuesday after Prudential Securities analyst John McPeake upgraded the software developer from an “accumulate” rating to a “strong buy.”

In a research note, McPeake said he is “more comfortable” with Computer Associates’ (NYSE: CA) recurring revenue recognition model. He also pointed out that IBM’s (NYSE: IBM) mainframe upgrade and new hardware cycle would result in a “positive newsflow” for CA.

Computer Associates topped analysts’ estimates in its third quarter, earning $247 million, or 42 cents a share, on sales of $1.4 billion.

Analysts were expecting a profit of 40 cents a share in the quarter.

Computer Associates shares rallied up to a 52-week high of $74.38 in February before slipping to a low of $18.13 earlier this month.

First Call Corp. consensus expects it to earn 44 cents a share in its fourth quarter on sales of $1.42 billion.

Thirteen of the 20 analysts tracking the stock rate it either a “buy” or “strong buy.”