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May 6 (Reuters) - Shares of MacDonald, Dettwiler & Associates Ltd (MDA.TO), a Canadian satellite and data distribution company, rose 15 percent to touch a two-year high on Thursday, a day after the company reported a first-quarter profit that beat expectations.
"We believe MDA has managed the business well through the downturn, right-sizing affected operations, investing in others," analyst Stephanie Price of CIBC World Markets said in a note to clients.
"The company is now better positioned for a new leg of growth than at any point since the start of the downturn."
Price said the company is in a position to restart its acquisition program as well as "potentially institute a dividend."
MDA makes advanced satellite, robotics, and defense technology, and also distributes legal, real estate and aerial data.
BMO Capital Markets' Thanos Moschopoulos, who kept his "outperform" rating on the stock, said a recovery in the UK and U.S. residential real estate markets and a satellite refueling opportunity would provide further potential upside to the stock.
On Wednesday, the company reported operating earnings of 81 Canadian cents a share. Analysts were expecting earnings of 67 Canadian cents a share. [ID:nWNAB6824]
Shares of the company were up 11 percent at C$43.10 in midday trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange. They touched a high of C$44.84 earlier in the session. (Reporting by Arnika Thakur in Bangalore; Editing by Anne Pallivathuckal)