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Deutsche Bank Raises UTStarcom to 'Hold'

Deutsche Bank upgraded UTStarcom (UTSI) to hold, from sell.

Analyst William Bao Bean says he upgraded on improving visibility in handset sales, and the likelihood the company will land small but potentially significant orders in South America. He also cites more reasonable expectations from the market, seen in the 31% drop in the stock price.

Bean says the comany's raised guidance is no surprise; the question had been when handset strength would hit the top line given the uncertainty over when UTStarcom would recognize handset revenues.

Bean sees monthly PHS subscriber growth in China hitting 2.5 million to 3.5 million in the fourth quarter, vs. 1 million to 2 million in the second quarter. He raised his $1.54 2003 earnings per share estimate to $1.64, and raised the $1.83 2004 estimate to $1.95. Bean also upped the $27 target to $33.

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