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SiRF Technology (SIRF) shares are on the rise after Credit Suisse analyst Amit Saraf upgraded his rating on the maker of chips used in global positioning system devices to Outperform from Neutral, and boosted his price target to $24 from $18.50.

Saraf writes that checks with electronics retailers indicate “a strong holiday GPS build” and also “early indications of healthy sell-through.” He also said the company is seeing “lower than expected near-term share loss” in personal navigation devices. And he says SiRF is seeing “near-term traction” in the wireless space, in particular from Motorola (MOT) handsets.

“We still believe SIRF faces a number of long-term challenges and that the GPS space will become more competitive over time, however, we believe a number of positive drivers exist in the near-term for SIRF shares,” he writes.

Saraf raised his Q3 EPS estimate to 23 cents from 22 cents; for the fourth quarter he goes to 25 cents from 23 cents. For 2008, he goes to $1.23 from $1.18.

Saraf says he is looking for about 9 million personal navigation devices to be sold in the December quarter, but that “there could be material upside” to that number as declining price points stimulates demand. He also notes that, with the stock off almost 40% from its 2007 highs, growth in the wireless segment “has been fully discounted out of the stock,” and that “any material wins” for the company in that area “would boost estimates and ultimately the stock price.”