Merrill Upgrades Foundry Networks to Buy

Analyst Tal Liani thinks federal spending on data networking should continue to grow

Merrill Lynch upgraded Foundry Networks (FDRY ) to buy from neutral.

Analyst Tal Liani says he upgraded following a 64% decline in share price from its highs in January. He believes federal spending on data networking should continue to grow.

Liani says good leading indicators for enterprise growth include Cisco's 25% switching revenues growth in the past three quarters, and Foundry growing 12% sequentially in the U.S. enterprise market in the past quarter. He has stress-tested Foundry's earnings model, and concluded that it's trading at worst-case levels. He sees 59 cents 2004 EPS and 64 cents EPS in 2005. Liani has a $16 12-month price target.

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