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Oppenheimer Ups Cogent to Buy from Neutral

Oppenheimer upgraded its investment opinion on Cogent (COGT) to buy from neutral, citing the company's recently announced third quarter results.

Analyst Joshua Zaret said the results were strong, highlighted by adjusted earnings per share of 22 cents, which was above the 17 cents consensus forecast. He says the earnings per share outperformance was mainly due to higher margins (due to the product mix) and a lower tax rate. Given the stock's recent price retrenchment and improving fundamental outlook, he sees Cogent as an attractive investment opportunity. He thinks the company is one of best positioned in the Homeland Security area by virtue of its focus on high growth, high margin, and high dollar value biometrics markets. He raised his 66 cents 2005 earnings per share estimate to 72 cents and his 82 cents 2006 estimate to 90 cents. He also set a $30 stock price target.

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