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Vitesse jumps on upgrade

Vitesse Semiconductor Corp. (Nasdaq: VTSS) accelerated 13 percent on the back of an upgrade Wednesday which praised the company's sales growth and upped earnings estimates.

Shares were up 8 3/16 to 69 1/8.

Banc of America upgraded shares to "strong buy" from "buy." Earnings estimates for the fourth quarter ending September has been raised a penny to 20 cents a share.

Analyst Alex Gauna said Vitesse is entering a new phase of accelerating growth from sales to Fujitsu Ltd and Lucent Technologies Inc.(NYSE: LU).

The report also highlighted optical networking revenue, which is expected in the $12-15 million range, with $5 million in peripheral devices.

Powerful gross margin expansion for Vitesse and the broadband semiconductor industry overall suggests modest competitive pressures, the report added. Competitor Conexant (Nasdaq: CNXT) was up 4 percent, or 1 1/16 to 30 1/16 Wednesday.