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Lehman Hikes Rating on Cisco Systems to 'Overweight'

Lehman Brothers upgraded Cisco Systems (CSCO) to overweight from equal-weight, and raised its price target for the stock.

Analyst Tim Luke recognizes that Cisco shares rose after solid third-quarter results, and continues to believe prospects for sales growth remains muted. However, after seeing stronger trends in April, early indications suggests May appears to have remained solid and he believes investor confidence in EPS of 70 cents to 75 cents in calendar year 2004 may continue to improve.

Luke thinks management is likely to reiterate the theme of cautious optimism at several conferences in the next six weeks, beginning today, and the shares may continue to edge higher. He thinks the shares could trade at Dell (DELL), Microsoft (MSFT), and Intel (INTC) levels of 25 times calendar year 2004 estimate, or $18 to $19.

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