Updated from 6:49 p.m. ET Thursday

Semiconductor stocks might be suffering through a wintery economic climate, but according to

Prudential Securities

analyst Shekhar Pramanick, springtime isn't that far off. The analyst upgraded three semiconductor-equipment stocks,

KLA-Tencor

(KLAC) - Get Report

,

Teradyne

(TER) - Get Report

and

Applied Materials

(AMAT) - Get Report

, to strong buy from accumulate, saying a new profitability cycle is on the horizon. He also raised his price targets on the three stocks.

Pramanick said that semiconductor equipment makers will recover during the next few months. The first signs, he said, are occurring now in the form of end-market stabilization -- meaning the situation with customers won't get any worse. "We believe investors should not wait for an equipment order recovery but rather build positions on near-term volatility with a 12-to-18 month time horizon, with upside potential of 50% or more as we enter the next semi cycle," he wrote in a research note.

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

Vishay Intertechnology

(VSH) - Get Report

started a sweetened offer to buy the 19.6% of

Siliconix

(SILI)

it doesn't already own for about $227 million in stock.

In a statement this morning, the electronic components maker said it would exchange 1.5 of its shares for each share of Siliconix, a power-conversion components maker. The new offer represents a premium of nearly 35% over the first offer price of $28.82, proposed by Vishay on Feb. 22.

After Thursday's Close

Dana

(DCN)

plans to sell its polymer-bearings unit to

B.F. Goodrich

(GR)

. The Toledo, Ohio vehicle-parts maker said it was selling the unit in order to concentrate on its auto business. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

The unit has facilities in England, Scotland, France, Germany, Brazil and Slovakia and has about 800 workers.

Solectron

(SLR)

said on Thursday that it agreed to acquire

Singapore Shinei Sangyo

, a privately held maker of enclosures for electronics products. Solectron, which provides electronics manufacturing services, expects to complete the transaction in June of this year.

The company said the completion of the deal will help it expand its power, packaging and cooling capabilities and enhance its systems-solutions offering. Once the deal is completed, Shinei will be renamed

Shinei International

.

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Earnings/revenue reports and previews

After Thursday's Close

ADC Telecommunications

(ADCT) - Get Report

said it missed Wall Street's lowered estimates for the second quarter.

The company reported a loss of $115 million, or 15 cents a share, excluding charges. Eighteen analysts polled by

Thomson Financial/First Call

were projecting a loss of 13 cents a share for the period, well short of the $72 million, or 10 cents a share, the telecom equipment maker earned during the year-ago period. Revenue totaled $652 million, which was much lower compared with the year-ago period. A seven-analyst consensus was expecting revenue to fall to $651.4 million from $771 million in the year-ago quarter.

In March, the company said second-quarter sales should be about $650 million to $700 million. The company also

lowered its bottom line expectations to a pro forma loss of 10 cents to 15 cents a share. A 20-analyst consensus estimate at the time called for a profit of 9 cents a share. ADC attributed the results to the downturn in capital spending.

The company said it expects pro forma earnings for the third quarter to fall in a range from break-even to a loss of 5 cents a share, with sales of $600 million to $650 million, before the disposition of nonstrategic businesses. The company said fourth-quarter revenue should be flat with the third quarter.

Borders Group

(BGP)

said it earned a penny a share before one-time charges and costs related to the settlement of the

American Booksellers Association

litigation. Analysts were expecting the company to break even in the quarter. The bookseller also earned a penny in the year-ago period.

Consolidated sales were up 7.4% to $729.9 million from the same period last year. The company projected a loss of a penny a share for the second quarter and reiterated its guidance for the year of $1.38 to $1.40 earnings a share, excluding one-time charges. Wall Street expects the company to break even in the second quarter and earn $1.38 for the full year.

Electronics Boutique

(ELBO)

, a seller of video-game hardware and software, met Wall Street's projections when it posted a first-quarter loss of $1.4 million, or 6 cents a share. The company earned $2.4 million, or 11 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue grew to $179.9 million from $151.5 million in the year-ago period.

The company expects second-quarter sales of about $156 million because of same-store sales increases and the opening of additional stores since the prior-year period. Electronics Boutique also expects a loss of 21 cents to 24 cents a share for the second quarter. For the full fiscal year, the company forecast improved results compared with the prior year, thanks to an expected strong second half. Three analysts polled by

Thomson Financial/First Call

forecast a loss of 21 cents for the second quarter, and a four-analyst consensus is projecting earnings of 89 cents for the full year. The company lost 13 cents in the year-ago second quarter and earned 62 cents for the year. Same-store sales for the 13 weeks ended May 5 increased 14.3%.

TiVo

(TIVO) - Get Report

reported that it beat Wall Street's projections for the first quarter. The personal television-recording service said it lost $50.2 million, or $1.20 a share, for the quarter. Six analysts polled by

Thomson Financial/ First Call

were expecting the company to lose $1.23 in the period. The company lost $23.5 million, or 66 cents a share, in the year-ago period. In the previous quarter, TiVo lost $81.5 million, or $2 a share.

Revenue rose to $3.2 million from $2.2 million in the previous quarter and $499,000 in the same period last year. The company also said that its total subscriber activations for the TiVo service have exceeded 200,000 to date.

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Analyst actions

Prudential raised its rating on shares of

Texaco

(TX) - Get Report

and

Chevron

(CHV)

to a strong buy from hold, but lowered

Phillips Petroleum

(P)

to hold from strong buy.

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Offerings and stock actions

EchoStar Communications

(DISH) - Get Report

said it had priced $1 billion of convertible subordinated notes, following the news that the company is discussing a possible merger with rival

DirectTV

.

The seven-year subordinated notes carried a 5.75% coupon and are convertible into EchoStar common shares at $43.29. Shares of the company closed Thursday at $33.30 on the

Nasdaq

.

According to a securities filing,

General Motors

(GM) - Get Report

, whose unit

Hughes Electronics

(GMH)

owns DirectTV, indicated it was willing to negotiate the merger with EchoStar.

Rhythms NetConnections

(RTHM)

said it would defer the payment of the $5.1 million quarterly dividend on its 6.75% Series F cumulative convertible preferred stock, which was payable on June 4.

Dividends will accrue on the preferred stock, and the company added that it has sufficient cash to pay the $5.1 million quarterly dividend. However, Rhythms said its debt indentures prohibit the company from paying cash dividends on its Series F preferred stock as long as the indentures remain outstanding.

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Miscellany

Shares of

Scios

(SCIO)

were halted by Nasdaq while the

Food and Drug Administration

meets today to review the company's application for its Natrecor treatment for heart failure. The FDA is expected to complete its review of the application by July. Shares of the company closed at $24.56 in Thursday's trading.

Lowe's

(LOW) - Get Report

said its board approved a 2-for-1 stock split, and the company raised its quarterly dividend to 4 cents a share from 3.5 cents.

The home improvement retailer said its shareholders will receive one additional share for each share held on the record date of June 8. The additional shares will be issued on June 29, the company said.

After Thursday's Close

CDW Computer Centers

(CDWC)

, a computer seller, said named John Edwardson its new chairman. Edwardson, the former president and operating chief of

UAL

(UAL) - Get Report

and

United Airlines

, is replacing founder Michael Krasny. Krasny will become chairman emeritus.

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