Broadcom shares rise 2 percent on analyst upgrade

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) ? Shares of Broadcom Corp. rose Thursday on an analyst upgrade. Stronger smartphone orders are helping the semiconductor company.

THE SPARK: Robert W. Baird and Co. analyst Tristan Gerra upgraded the stock to “outperform” from “neutral.”

THE BIG PICTURE: Irvine, Calif.-based Broadcom makes chips for cellphones and other devices such as cable set-top boxes. Strong growth in smartphones and wireless Internet usage is helping lift the company’s prospects.

THE ANALYSIS: Gerra said the upgrade was based on signs of momentum for Broadcom’s wireless businesses, in concert with improving signs from the cellphone supply chain. Gerra said that order for chips and other components for smartphones have picked up after some weakness this summer.

STOCK ACTION: The stock rose 85 cents, or 2.3 percent, to $37.03, which puts it at the lower end of its 52-week range. Gerra raised Baird’s price target on Broadcom stock to $46 per share.