) to buy from hold.
Analyst Cody Acree says he had been looking to get more aggressive with Microchip, and he upgrades on strong results and visibility. The upside was driven by overall solid demand, with gross margin expansion fueling 2 cents earnings per share outperformance.
He says with economic activity accelerating, a company with broad-based exposure like Microchip should reap the benefits. In addition, Microchip had been waiting for a more favorable economic environment to get one of its facilities going, and it's now running, which will aid in top-line growth.
Acree upped the 94 cents fiscal 2005 (Mar.) earnings per share estimate to $1.07, and sees $1.23 in fiscal 2006. He has a $36 target.