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TECH STOCKS: Tech Stocks Follow LSI To Close With Gains

By Rex Crum Big gains from LSI Corp. highlighted tech-sector trading Wednesday as the semiconductor company raised its first-quarter earnings and revenue forecasts. LSI's shares rose 52 cents, or almost 9%, to close at $6.34. Before the market opened, LSI (LSI) said it expects to report a quarterly range between a loss of 3 cents a share and a profit of 4 cents a share, on revenue of $620 million to $640 million. Excluding one-time items, LSI said it should earn between 7 cents and 11 cents a share for the first quarter ending April 4. Analysts surveyed by FactSet Research had forecast LSI to earn 7 cents a share, excluding one-time items, on $603 million in sales. LSI's outlook suggests better-than-expected purchases from corporate enterprise customers. Chief Executive Abhi Talwalker said that the company experienced strength across all product areas and that "the majority of our revenues are tied to enterprise purchases of servers, data storage and networking infrastructure." With LSI in the lead, other chip stocks also gained, including Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD), Micron Technology Inc. (MU) and Broadcom Corp. (BRCM). The Nasdaq Composite Index (RIXF) ended the day up by 11 points at 2,389, while the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index (SOX) and the Morgan Stanley High Tech 35 Index (MSH) also advanced. Among other tech stocks, Adobe Systems Inc. (ADBE) rose 47 cents a share to $35.49 after the Brigantine brokerage raised its rating on the software company to buy from hold. Gains also came from Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), Dell Inc. (DELL), Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) and Google Inc. (GOOG). Netflix Inc. (NFLX) shares rose 29 cents to close at $70.92. Blockbuster Inc. (BBI), one of Netflix's top rivals, said it may soon file for bankruptcy.

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