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The Street is fawning over Lam Research (NASDAQ:LRCX) today. CIBC raised its rating on the stock to Sector Outperform from Sector Perform; both J.P. Morgan and Credit Suisse raised their earnings estimates. The big driver of the stock seems to be memory chip companies adding capacity. Not exactly sure why all this research happened to hit today, but it certainly has been good for the stock. Anyway, here’s what the analysts are saying:

  • Jay Deahna, J.P. Morgan: Contrary to stated out quarter guidance from the July earnings season, our research suggests that an improving order outlook from memory customers is likely to drive up orders sequentially for Lam Research in [the fourth quarter] assuming the company doesn’t exceed its third quarter guidance by too much…We see the improving [calendar second half 2006] outlook from memory customers as a major potential catalyst for LRCS stock price outperformance after underperforming sicne management suggested in the July earnings season that orders could be down in [the fourth quarter.]…Raising our [fourth quarter] order forecast from down 6% ($646 million) to up 5% ($723 million.) We are also raising our fiscal 2007 [pro forma] EPS estimate to $4.36 form $4.09. Rating: Overweight; price target, $54.
  • Satya Kumar, Credit Suisse: We think the story is solidly on track; we think the market is wrong and way too pessimistic on LRCX…three relevant capex trends to watch for 2007 are (1) Samsung’s capex shift from NAND to DRAM…(2) Increased Taiwan DRAM spend…(3) Potential capex decline at a major U.S. [microprocessor] customer - LRCX’s lack of exposure here is a relative plus…Increasing calendar 2007 revneue estimate to $2.17 billion, from $2 billion, and EPS estimate to $3.30 a share from $3.13. Rated outpeform; price target, $49.
  • Gary Hsueh, CIBC World Markets: Raised rating to sector outperform from sector perform. Channel checks suggest (1) near term upside to Street as shipments continue to ramp to set record levels in March 2007 on share gains at Taiwan DRAM makers; and (2) comemrcial traction in new ‘wet clean biz’ with a repeat order from TSMC (NYSE:TSM). Calendar 2007 estimate jumps to $3.62 from $3.16. Price target to $52 from $40.

Lam shares today have jumped $3.25 to $44.61.