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J.P. Morgan Ups Varian Semiconductor Rating

J.P. Morgan upgraded Varian Semiconductor (VSEA) and Lam Research (LRCX) to overweight from neutral.

Analyst Jay Deahna says Varian moved higher in his calendar second-quarter quarterly Operating Effectiveness/Wealth Creation rankings, which he believes is due to its superior operations, financial management, and an imminent high current share gain. He thinks Varian is now among the elite of the industry in overall quality.

Deahna raised the 70 cents fiscal 2004 (Sept.) earnings per share estimate to 75 cents, and upped the $2.50 fiscal 2005 estimate to $2.73. He notes Lam Research also moved higher in his rankings, which he feels is due to the success of its variable cost business model, and a share gain in the dielectric etch business.

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