SAN FRANCISCO -- Pressured by

analyst downgrades the past two days,


(INTC) - Get Report

found a friend today.



Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

analyst Mark Edelstone is telling investors to buy Intel "aggressively." This shouldn't come as a big surprise, as Edelstone has been an Intel bull for some time and Morgan Stanley has underwritten Intel options offerings in the last three years. Edelstone said he has not changed earnings estimates or his strong buy rating, and views a price under 110 as attractive. Intel was up 2 3/16, or 2%, at 112.

Edelstone was not available for comment. But Louis Gerhardy, also an analyst with the firm, said Edelstone reiterated that his $1.14-a-share earnings estimate for the first quarter was "realistic and achievable," and took into account seasonal weakness in the quarter. The $1.14 figure is above the $1.10

First Call


"We believe what's happening out there are expectations were out of line as to how the PC sector could perform in the March quarter and the recent weakness has already discounted those concerns," said Gerhardy.

Sell the Rumor, Sell the Fact



bad news did not end when it

warned after the close Tuesday that third-quarter earnings would fall short of estimates. The stock dropped another 10% Wednesday on top of Tuesday's 12% decline. 3Com was off 2 13/16 at 24 3/16.

Downgrades from a number of firms came after the fact, but they certainly weren't helping.

Credit Suisse First Boston

downgraded the stock to buy from strong buy.


reported that Morgan Stanley cut 3Com to neutral from outperform and

BT Alex. Brown

downgraded it to market perform from buy.

What's Up, Amdocs?

Shares of billing software company


(DOX) - Get Report

were off sharply after the company said it agreed to buy Canada's

Architel Systems


in a deal valued at around $400 million.

The deal puts a $24.52 tag on Architel, a telecommunications software company whose shares were up 3 45/64, or 23%, at 19 3/8 after reaching a high of 22 15/16. Amdocs was down 3 5/8, or 14%, at 22 3/16.