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EZchip Surges to 3-Month High on Chipmakers Recovery Bets

EZchip Semiconductor Ltd., a maker of network processors, rose to the highest level in almost three months on bets semiconductor companies will show a recovery when reporting fourth-quarter earnings.

The stock jumped 5.3 percent to 129.50 shekels, or the equivalent of $34.23, at the 4:30 p.m. close in Tel Aviv, the highest level since Nov. 1. The U.S.-traded shares advanced 3.5 percent to $34.02 yesterday. The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index, used to track chip industry performance, added 0.4 percent yesterday, extending this year’s gain to 14 percent.

Texas Instruments, the world’s largest maker of analog chips, said yesterday fourth-quarter sales and profit declined less than analysts had predicted, signaling to brokerage Benchmark Co. that the market for electronic components has bottomed out.

“Companies are talking about an end of inventory depletion and see increases in bookings,” Gary Mobley, an analyst at Benchmark, said by phone from New York yesterday.

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