) to strong buy from buy.
Analyst Jim Liang says the upgrade is based on his view that the communications semiconductor market will bottom in the September quarter, and that the company is the top semiconductor pick in the wide area network (WAN) space. He thinks demand for bandwidth at the core of WAN continues to rise, and should accelerate once the bottleneck at the edge of the network is resolved.
Liang believes utilization rates on North American long haul optical networks will rise considerably over the next six to 12 months, causing tier one carriers to expand capacity in 2002. He says growth prospects in the upper-layer chipset area also are promising.
Liang has a $35 target.