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Banc of America Ups Microchip Tech to 'Buy'

Banc of America upgraded Microchip Technology (MCHP) to buy from market perform.

Microchip says it is tracking well towards earlier guidance for $138 million in Q1 sales. Analyst Douglas Lee says the worst of the estimate cuts are behind for Microchip. The company said backlog cancellations and pushouts are slowing "substantially."

Lee says more than 50% of Microchip's sales go into the relatively more stable consumer electronics and automotive end- markets. He sees $0.72 for fiscal 2002 (March) EPS, and $0.96 for fiscal 2003. Lee says the stock is trading at 26 times calendar 2002's EPS estimate, a substantial discount vs. the semiconductor group average of 43 times. At a minimum, he thinks Microchip's stock will prove outperformer in a very volatile group. He set a $30 12-month target.

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