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EA gains NASDAQ boost after stock upgrade

Piper Jaffray analyst Anthony Gikas has upgraded EA stock to "outperform" and labelled the company as good value for investors, boosting the publisher's standing on the Nasdaq stock exchange.

Piper Jaffray analyst Anthony Gikas has upgraded EA stock to "outperform" and labelled the company as good value for investors, boosting the publisher's standing on the Nasdaq stock exchange.

Projecting a surge in the games industry through the introduction of the next-generation of hardware platforms, coupled with a 20 per cent drop in share price in 2006, Gikas considers the publisher a sound investment opportunity - but has lowered his target price to USD 54 from USD 59.

Additionally, the analyst hinted at somewhat of a disappointment in EA's more recent performance, voicing concerns over the companyâs increased research and development costs (which are expected to rise between 15-20 per cent this year) and lowering his 2008 earnings projections from USD 1.60 to USD 1.45 per share.

Speaking to the Associated Press, Gikas voiced his confidence in the continued growth of the market, noting that the earnings potential for leading software publishers "should be exceptional."

EA announced a slew of new current, next-gen and handheld titles at the recent E3 convention in Los Angeles, and the company is also making heavy commitments to the mobile entertainment industry following its acquisition of leading wireless games publisher Jamdat.

Shares were up almost 60 cents in late trading following the Piper Jaffray stock upgrade, and are currently resting at USD 43.47.

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Paul Loughrey

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