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Novatel Surges on Raised Forecast

The company sees first-quarter earnings more than tripling Wall Street's target.

Novatel Wireless (NVTL) shares jumped 14% Monday after the company boosted its first-quarter financial guidance.

Citing strong demand for 3G wireless-access cards, the San Diego tech shop said adjusted earnings per share for the period will be about 35 cents. Novatel's prior guidance had called for adjusted earnings of 16 cents a share.

The new forecast is more than triple the adjusted profit of 10 cents a share that analysts projected, according to a tally by Reuters Research.

Novatel, which makes antenna cards for laptops that enable users to have mobile network connections, projects that revenue will exceed $100 million for the quarter ending Saturday. The new target is 25% above the $80.6 million that analysts had been expecting.

"Our first quarter performance is being driven by strong shipments of the Company's EV-DO Rev. A ExpressCards and over $30 million in revenues from the company's higher margin Ovation product line," acting CEO Brad Weinert said in a press release.

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The news comes as

Verizon Wireless

pushes ahead with a $6 billion EV-DO Rev. A

network upgrade.

Novatel shares surged $2.01 to $17.19 in early trading Monday.