NEW YORK (AP) ¿ Shares of Hutchinson Technology Inc. soared Wednesday after the company released upbeat preliminary fourth-quarter results. The Hutchinson, Minn.-based company, which makes disk drive parts, said it expects a close to break-even quarter on sales of $100 million to $107 million. Hutchinson said it expects to take a $1.9 million gain on a real estate sale as well as the repurchase of company bonds. Although the company did not give a specific earnings figure, analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters were expecting a loss of 23 cents per share on sales of $101.2 million. Analysts typically exclude special items. In a note to investors Wednesday, Craig-Hallum Capital analyst Christian Schwab said the preliminary results indicate "that the worst may be behind the company." He upgraded shares to "Buy" from "Neutral." Schwab said market-share loss at one of its customers, Seagate Technology, continues to weigh on Hutchinson, but the company has done a "commendable" job of cutting costs. Hutchinson said late last year that it would trim as much as 25 percent of its work force. The company's stock jumped 98 cents, or 15 percent, to $7.44 in afternoon trading.
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