Upgrade Boosts Plexus

Plexus ( PLXS), a second-tier contract manufacturer, jumped Wednesday on the strength of an upgrade by UBS Securities.

After trading as high as $18.65 intraday, shares of the Neenah, Wis.-based company were recently up $1.16, or 6.8%, to $18.18 amid heavy volume.

With Plexus shares off more than 30% from its January high of $24.47, UBS analyst Patrick Parr upgraded the company to buy from neutral. Plexus is well-positioned to profit from the rebound in spending on information technology and telecommunications, Parr argued. Additionally, the company's historical focus on other markets, including medical, serves as a hedge, he said in a research note.

"With both a recovery underway in its end-markets and a solid recent record of new business wins, we believe visibility is improving and are raising our estimates slightly to reflect this," Parr wrote. "Longer-term, we like Plexus's engineering-focused model as a source of differentiation against the inexorable force of commoditization in manufacturing services." (UBS has done investment banking for Plexus.)

Last month, the company delivered an upside surprise, reporting that first-quarter sales rose by 16% and giving stronger-than-expected guidance for the current quarter.

Rival contract manufacturer Jabil Circuit ( JBL) will report second-quarter financial results after the closing bell Tuesday.

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