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Citigroup cut its recommendation on M-SYS Flash Disk Pioneers (FLSH
) and SanDisk to hold from buy.
Analyst Craig Ellis says upside potential of 14% to a $34 price target for Flash, and 9.6% for SanDisk's $57 target are insufficient to warrant buy ratings. Nonetheless, he cited bullish fundamentals and raised the companies' 2006 earnings per share estimates. He notes that Flash is benefiting near term from USB drive market share gains; SanDisk is benefiting near term from benign pricing, manufacturing transition, long term from handset card wins, and higher royalties. Ellis notes however, that Flash and SanDisk shares are largely discounting solid fundamentals: since Jun 30 Flash and SanDisk shares are up 54%, and 120%, respectively.