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LTX surges on Morgan Stanley upgrade

Shares of LTX Corp. (Nasdaq: LTXX) shot up 1 7/8, or 10 percent, to 19 7/8 Monday after Morgan Stanley Dean Witter upgraded the semiconductor-equipment maker from an "outperform" rating to "strong buy."

In its latest quarter, LTX pocketed $6.8 million, or 11 cents a share, on sales of $60 million, a vast improvement from the year-ago period when it lost $6.8 million, or 19 cents a share, on sales of just $27 million.

First Call consensus expects it to earn 13 cents a share in its second quarter and 56 cents a share in the fiscal year.

Its shares moved up to a 52-week high of 21 in November after falling to a low of 2 3/16 in January.

Four of the five analysts following the stock maintain either a "buy" or "strong buy" recommendation.

Among other chip-equipment makers Monday, Lam Research Corp. (Nasdaq: LRCX) rallied up 8 3/4, or 10 percent, to 98 5/16; Applied Materials Inc. (Nasdaq: AMAT) rose 5 5/8 to 116 3/8 and Novellus Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: NVLS) jumped 20 percent after announcing a 3-for-1 stock split.