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Synchronoss shares rise on Credit Suisse upgrade

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of Synchronoss Technologies Inc., which helps manage cellphones and cable set-top boxes, climbed Wednesday after an analyst upgraded them.

THE SPARK: Credit Suisse analyst Michael Nemeroff upgraded the stock of the Bridgewater, N.J., company to "Outperform" from "Neutral," saying multiple factors set the company up to speed its revenue growth this year.

THE ANALYSIS: In a note to investors Nemeroff cited strong fourth-quarter smartphone sales at AT&T, a Synchronoss customer, and a new $350 million multi-year contract with Verizon Wireless, beginning in the first half of this year. Synchronoss helps companies activate new phones on their network. Synchronoss also just bought a subsidiary of Research In Motion Ltd., the maker of the BlackBerry, which should help revenue, Nemeroff wrote.

Synchronoss provides services that let phone users move their contacts from one phone to another, even if they're otherwise incompatible. Nemeroff sees this type of service as providing critical leverage to phone companies against phone makers, since it makes it easier to switch from one phone brand to another.

Nemeroff also believes Apple could release a new iPhone in the first half of this year, which would move some revenue for Synchronoss earlier in the year. However, most analysts still believe the next iPhone will arrive in the fall, a year after the iPhone 5.

SHARE ACTION: Synchronoss shares rose 66 cents, or 2.9 percent, to $23.27 in afternoon trading. The stock reached $23.94 earlier in the session, the highest level in three months.