Needham Upgrades Maxtor to 'Strong Buy'

Analyst Richard Kugele is encouraged by the disk drive and data storage company's outperformance

Needham upgraded Maxtor (MXO ) to strong buy from buy.

Analyst Richard Kugele says he had anticipated improving yields, continued strong demand, and improved average selling prices for Maxtor, but he says he was surprised and encouraged by the extent of the company's outperformance vs. expectations. Kugle says the disk drive and data storage company attributed strength to success in ramping its 60 and 80 gigabyte per platter products, firm demand for desktop and server drives, and a more favorable average selling price environment.

Kugle narrowed his 91 cents 2002 loss estimate to a 74 cents loss, and raised the five cents 2003 earnings per share estimate to 41 cents, citing higher gross margin forecasts. He also raised his $7 target to $10.

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