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CSFB Upgrades Red Hat

CS First Boston upgrades Linux operating systems company Red Hat (RHAT) to outperform from neutral.

Analyst Jason Maynard says first-quarter results were solid and the only blemish was a slight shortfall on enterprise subscription revenue, which was impacted by foreign exchange movements in the quarter.

He says he's comfortable that the company can meet his new revenue, earnings per share, and cash flow forecasts. He believes the risk/reward profile is skewed to the upside over the next 6 to 9 months as the stock is trading at less than half of its growth rate on a cash flow basis.

Maynard also notes the stock trades at about 11.5 times his free-cash-flow estimate, reflecting a discount to its peer group. He has a $16 target, 15 times EV/OCF multiple using his $152 million fiscal 2006 (ending February) free-cash-flow estimate.

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