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Visteon shares rise after upgrade to "Overweight"

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of Visteon Corp. hit a new 52-week high Wednesday after a J.P. Morgan analyst upgraded the auto supplier, saying that its shares are poised for gains.

THE SPARK: Ryan Brinkman raised his rating on Visteon's stock to "Overweight" from "Neutral," predicting that the company will eventually sell its wholly owned electronics and interiors businesses to focus on its higher-growth Asian joint ventures.

THE BIG PICTURE: Van Buren Township, Mich.-based Visteon makes a variety of parts and systems for automakers around the world.

The company is set to hold analyst days in Shanghai and Seoul next month that will highlight its 50 percent stake in China-based Yanfeng-Visteon and 70 percent stake in South Korea-based Halla Visteon Climate Control. The presentations will be followed by five-day Asian road show.

THE ANALYSIS: Brinkman said he thinks Visteon will sell off the electronics and interiors businesses, which will essentially make it a holding company for the stakes in the Asian companies.

If that happens, Visteon shares would be worth about $73, but under the right conditions the shares could climb as high as $77, he said.

THE SHARES: Up $1.68, or 3 percent, to $58.18 in afternoon trading, after peaking at $60.29 earlier in the day and passing their previous 52-week high of $58.28 and marking their highest point since June 2011.