I don't know why Wall Street analysts like to give Jabil Circuit (NYSE:JBL) the benefit of the doubt these days. After Thursday night's uninspiring earnings report, the share price jumped up 10% or so amidst a flood of analyst upgrades.

Comments included "signs of margin improvements" and talk about "modest growth" ahead for the circuit-board manufacturer. That's taking CEO Tim Main's word for the company's prospects when he said that he believes "we are on the right path and intend to demonstrate this to our investors over the next several quarters."

You'd also have to ignore the very next paragraph of the report, where the company said it expects virtually flat sales next quarter. And what really raises my hackles is that this mild near-term growth is supposed to launch into some marvelous improvements before the end of the calendar year. From Tim's lips:

In 2007, we expect the instrumentation medical sector to grow 20% over 2006. Computing and storage is also anticipated to grow approximately 18%. Even our after-market services and peripherals sectors will show outstanding growth of about 30% each.

I have to come to the conclusion that management is either knee-deep in wishful thinking, or else in full spin mode -- and the Wall Street guys are listening to the positive parts of this contradictory jumble while turning a deaf ear to the bad news.

I'm sorry, but I don't see how the growth story could play out that way. If you're interested in circuit boards and their assembly, you might do better with Jabil rival Flextronics (NASDAQ:FLEX) or quick-release PCB specialist TTM Technologies (NASDAQ:TTMI). If you ask our 30,000 Motley Fool CAPS users, they'd generally agree -- Jabil has a dinky two-star rating today, while its two competitors carry four stars each. Click on over to our Printed Circuit Boards center to check out their thinking for yourself.

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Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies discussed here. You can check out Anders' holdings if you like, and Foolish disclosure will make your day, every day.