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Wells Fargo Upgrades Catapult to 'Buy'

Wells Fargo upgraded Catapult Communications (CATT) to buy from hold.

Analyst Casey Ryan says his upgrade was based on an increase in market share, revenues, and earnings per share that the closing of the Tekelec acquisition should bring to Catapult. Last week, Catapult, a maker of software-based test systems for telecom companies, acquired Tekelec's network diagnostics (NBD) division, which should help Catapult increase its total sales to North American original equipment manufacturers such as Motorola, Lucent and Nortel.

Although he thinks the Tekelec acquisition will decrease Catapult's gross and operating margins over next the two quarters as Catapult realigns its spending that is tied to NDB operations, he believes earnings per share will rise sharply after the fourth quarter due to additional revenues from the Tekelec purchase. Ryan upped the $0.83 fiscal 2003 (Sept.) estimate to $1.01 and set a $15 target.

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