Upgrade sparks Inktomi shares

Shares of Inktomi Corp. (Nasdaq: INKT) hustled up 7 7/16, or 6 percent, to 123 Wednesday after SG Cowen upgraded the stock from a "buy" recommendation to a "strong buy" and set a 12-month price target of $150 a share.

Analyst Drew Brosseau also trimmed his fiscal 2000 loss estimate to 10 cents a share from 16 cents a share.

Brosseau said company management has strong confidence in its underlying business outlook and that while comparable stocks, like VeriSign Inc. (Nasdaq: VRSN), BroadVision Inc. (Nasdaq: BVSN) and Vignette Corp. (Nasdaq: VIGN) have rallied, Inktomi has not, which presents a buying opportunity.

Last quarter, Inktomi lost $4.9 million, or 9 cents a share, on sales of $26.2 million.

Its shares surged up to a 52-week high of 159 1/8 in April after falling to a low of 51 5/16 in February.

Fourteen of the 17 analysts tracking the stock maintain either a "buy" or "strong buy" recommendation.

First Call consensus expects it to lose 8 cents a share in its first quarter and 15 cents a share in the fiscal year.