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Needham Upgrades IXYS Rating

Needham upgraded its investment recommendation on shares of IXYS Corp. (SYXI) to buy from hold.

Analyst Lee Zeltser says the company's first quarter EPS of 1 cent beat his breakeven estimate, and sales were 3.4% above his estimate. He notes the company's return to profitability after six consecutive quarters of losses, driven by improved demand from markets including high-end consumer electronics, industrial processing, and medical equipment. Zeltser says gross margins rose to 30.8%.

The analyst is confident in the company's fundamentals and its ability to revive operating performance on increased demand for power chips. He says the current share-price level marks an attractive entry point. Zeltser raised his fiscal 2004 (ending March) EPS estimate from 13 cents to 14 cents. He has a $9 price target.

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