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Raymond James Upgrades Blue Coat Systems

Blue Coat Systems (BCSI) posts first-quarter earnings per share (GAAP basis) of 24 cents, vs. 13 cents, on a 58% revenue rise. The maker of secure proxy appliances for Internet security functions sees second-quarter EPS of 23-28 cents on 9%-12% sequential revenue rise. Raymond James upgrades to strong buy from outperform.

Analyst Jonathan Ruykhaver says $33.4 million first-quarter revenues beat his $32.6 million estimate, and 27 cents operating EPS beat his 22 cents estimate. He cites continued robust demand for the company's core ProxySG appliance family and growing demand for its newer products.

Ruykhaver says strength in first-quarter results reflects the company's increased investment in sales and marketing, which has heightened brand awareness in the marketplace. He notes the company currently has few direct competitors.

He ups second quarter, fiscal year 2006 (April), and fiscal year 2007 EPS estimates to 27 cents, $1.16, and $1.50 from 25 cents, $1.08, and $1.42, respectively. He set a $42 price target on the stock.

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