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Analysts Selectively Bullish on SANs

Deutsche Banc Alex Brown LLC analysts Sabrina Ricci and George Elling have begun coverage of six companies in the storage networking sector. And they say there's plenty of growth opportunity here.

According to Ricci, storage networking equipment and software sales should continue to show strength even in an extended economic downturn, given that SANs offer solid return on investment to customers.

"SAN penetration is still in the early phases and is among the few projects that is still being pursued," says Ricci.

Ricci believes that new technologies such as SAN virtualization, advanced SAN management tools, clustering, replication, and security can create additional opportunities for market penetration and the extension of existing technologies.

That said, in her note Ricci says that the near-term financial outlook is still poor. Stocks have experienced a strong rally recently on no fundamental changes. She says her stock picks are intended to distinguish those companies that she believes will be the biggest beneficiaries once the economy turns around, as well as those that are comparatively less vulnerable should a slowdown continue indefinitely.

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