CIBC Upgrades Motorola to Sector Outperform

Analyst Dale Pfau says the cell-phone maker is on track to lead the strong wireless industry in 2004

CIBC World upgraded Motorola (MOT ) to sector outperform from sector perform.

Analyst Dale Pfau says he upgraded due to better-than-expected first-quarter results, and the prospects for more rapid margin improvement. Pfau says the cell-phone giant seems to be firing on all cylinders for the first time in recent history. He thinks Motorola is positioned to become the bellwether for a strong wireless industry in 2004.

Pfau cites recent original equipment manufacturer announcements, and says Motorola's 25 cents first-quarter earnings per share beat his 8 cents estimate on outstanding performance in its flagship handset operations. He upped the 42 cents 2004 earnings per share estimate to 90 cents, and raised the 65 cents 2005 estimate to $1.25. Pfau also set a $25 target, and say he would raise his positions in Motorola at the expense of rival Nokia.

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