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Merrill Upgrades Check Point Software to 'Buy'

Merrill Lynch upgraded Check Point Software (CHKP) to buy from neutral.

Analyst Edward Maguire says a recent rash of disruptive worms has catalyzed a revisit of network protection. He notes core network security technology and Firewall/VPN (virtual private network) sales benefit from heightened awareness. As a leading vendor of firewall/VPN software, he believes Check Point will benefit from any sustained upturn in demand.

He notes the company's adjusted strategy to more actively pursue growth opportunities after a period of "resting on laurels." Recent product announcements signal Check Point is moving in the right direction to reinvigorate sales growth. He set a $25 target.

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