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Thursday's Tech Winners & Losers

Motorola is climbing.
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Updated from 2:34 p.m. EDT

Motorola

(MOT)

helped to lift the tech sector Thursday, rising after a Wall Street research firm upgraded the stock and lifted its price target on the cell-phone maker's shares.

Lehman Brothers took its rating on Motorola to overweight from equal weight and boosted its target price to $20 from $18.50, saying the Schaumburg, Ill., company should be improving its spending. Shares of Motorola closed up 1.7% at $16.75.

Another stock on the rise was

Sigma Designs

(SIGM)

, a Milpitas, Calif., semiconductor and software company. Sigma's shares gained 10.5% to close at $42.70 after its latest quarterly results and forecast.

For the second quarter, revenue rose 18% to $42.5 million. The company earned $8.6 million, or 32 cents a share, up from last year's $216,000 and 1 cent a share. Excluding items, adjusted earnings climbed to 48 cents a share from 9 cents last year.

Looking to the third quarter, Sigma expects a continued increase in demand for its products and said net revenue should grow more than 20%.

Elsewhere,

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) Report

said it will acquire Chicago-based Parlano, the maker of MindAlign, an application for group Internet chats. Microsoft plans to add Parlano's group chat functionality as a new feature for Microsoft Office Communications Server and Microsoft Office Communicator.

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Shares of the Redmond, Wash., software giant closed down 0.5% at $28.45.

On the downside was

OpenTV

(OPTV)

, a provider of technologies for advanced television and cross-platform interactive services, which said Alan Guggenheim has resigned as president and CEO.

The board appointed Ben Bennett as chief operating officer, a new position, and acting CEO. Bennett was senior vice president of customer operations. Guggenheim cited personal reasons. San Francisco-based OpenTV closed down 3.6% at $1.34.

Similarly, Singapore's

Pacific Internet

(PCNTF)

said Phey Teck Moh has decided to step down as president and CEO. Teck Moh and the board agreed that he would leave his post.

Pacific Internet, an Internet communications service provider, said Chairman Bill Barney will be acting CEO. The stock lost 1.9% to $10.66.

International Rectifier

(IRF)

dropped 9.2% to $34.87 following word that CEO Alex Lidow has taken a paid leave of absence pending the outcome of an accounting investigation being conducted by the audit committee of the board.

The El Segundo, Calif., company, a maker of integrated circuits that manage power usage, said its board determined that the move was needed, but it said no conclusion has been reached that Lidow engaged in any wrongful conduct. Lidow remains a member of the board.

Donald Dancer, executive vice president, general counsel and secretary, will serve as CEO in the meantime.