CE Unterberg upgraded RF Micro Devices (RFMD) to short-term and long-term buy, from short-term and long-term market perform.
Analyst Kalpesh Kapadia says his upgrade is driven by the improving economy, local number portability in the U.S., and feature-rich handsets that offer color screens and cameras. He says the handset market appears to be in a renewed phase of growth after two lackluster years.
With two major holidays (Christmas and the Chinese New Year) coming in short intervals, he thinks handset sales could remain robust through late January and early February. He notes emerging markets such as China, India, and Brazil all are adding new subscribers at very healthy rates.
Kapadia raised the 17 cents fiscal 2004 (Mar.) earnings per share estimate to 23 cents, and upped the 33 cents fiscal 2005 estimate to 50 cents. He also set a $15 target.