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Merrill Ups Synopsys, Cadence Design Ratings

Merrill Lynch upgraded Synopsys (SNPS) to buy from neutral, and upgraded Cadence Design Systems (CDN) to neutral from sell.

Analyst Jay Vleeschhouwer says he's making a group call on the electronic-design automation sector. He says market conditions are relatively more stable, and the most recent data show the industry is up sequentially through the first half; he sees mid-single digit bookings growth as achievable for the next couple of years.

Vleeschhouwer says he's still concerned about near-term risks that vendors may face individually, but it appears these risks are now well understood by investors. He thinks investors should turn their attention to market and technical factors that could provide bookings growth, including upgrades of design infrastructure. He set a $36 target for Synopsys.

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