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BoA Upgrades Novell

Banc Of America upgrades computer-networking company Novell Inc. (NOVL) to buy from neutral.

Analyst Kirk Materne says after meeting with management, he believes risk/reward is more compelling at current levels. He sees potential catalysts on the horizon, including the release of the Open Enterprise Server in February, a potential stock buyback, and continued growth in SuSE Linux.

He says while the company has yet to show consistent execution and an ability to meaningfully increase it profitability since acquiring SuSE, he thinks integration between the companies are now largely complete, expectations for 2005 are reasonable and may leave room for upside.

Materne ups his $7.50 target to $8.50, based on a sum-of-parts valuation.

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