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Citigroup Ups Asyst Technologies

Citigroup ups manufacturing automation systems company Asyst Technologies (ASYT) to hold from sell.

Analyst Timothy Arcuri says he's upgrading Asyst as the stock has exceeded his prior $4 target. Also, with its 10-K having been filed, he sees little to drive the stock meaningfully lower in the coming months.

He ups his target to $5 while maintaining estimates of an 18-cent first-quarter loss and 18 cents fiscal 2006 (ending March) earnings per share. He says his upgrade is warranted because, among other thinks, his checks suggest Asyst will again deliver on margins in the first quarter for the second straight quarter.

Asyst has been running room in its sorter business with a recent win at Intel and minimal competition from Brooks Automation. Arcuri also cites recent cost-control efforts at the company's joint venture.

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