From Standard & Poor's Equity Research

First Albany upgraded its investment recommendation on shares of Atheros Communications (ATHR) to strong buy from buy.

Analyst Auguste Richard says he believes the shares are "spring-loaded" going into the company's second-quarter EPS report July 24, as short interest has increased, he's confident the company will not miss estimates or guide third-quarter expectations lower. Moreover, he believes a cut in estimates is currently priced into the stock. He sees a number of positive catalysts for the rest of 2006; for example, he expects the company to announce its first revenues from the 802.11n and 802.11-embedded market in the second quarter, and the company to have a strong market position in 802.11n by year-end. Richard also expects the company's Apple (AAPL) revenue to continue to ramp.

The analyst maintains his EPS estimates of 66 cents in 2006 and 85 cents in 2007; he has a $32 price target on the stock.

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