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Upgrade Propels Novell

An analyst sees potential upside on valuation.
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Shares of



were moving north Friday on the strength of an upgrade to "buy" by Bank of America Securities.

In recent trading the stock was up 42 cents, or nearly 7%, to $6.48 a share.

BofA analyst Kirk Materne cited a "potential" stock buyback sometime this year, and said the company appears to have finally completed the integration of SuSE, which it purchased last year to enter the Linux market.

He added that Novell is trading at 1.3 times enterprise value/sales while its peers trade at about 2.8 times. "We believe there is room for upside to the current valuation if Novell can even modestly improve its profitability over the next 12 months."

Materne raised his price target on the stock by a dollar to $8.50 and said the upcoming release of the company's new version of Open Enterprise Server could provide a catalyst in the early part of the year.

(BofA is seeking investment banking business with Novell.)