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Citigroup Ups Qualcomm to Buy from Hold

Citigroup upgraded its rating on Qualcomm (QCOM) to buy from hold, citing the company's guidance for fiscal year 2006 (ending September.)

Analyst Daryl Armstrong believes the forward guidance is reasonable given the strength in the handset market and improving risk-reward dynamics. In particular, although 2006 CDMA handset growth guidance was modest at 11%, Armstrong believes the CDMA market faced a perfect storm in 2005 and 2006 is set up for a strong rebound. He also thinks management provided themselves some buffer in the company's opex guidance (+22%-+27%), which can be moderated if demand slows. He raises his $1.29 fiscal year 2006 (ending September) earnings per share estimate to $1.46, and his $45 price target to $50.

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