Fleet Financial Group Inc., whose acquisitions have been greeted with skepticism on Wall Street, won a major convert Tuesday when its shares were upgraded by Smith Barney.

Fleet shares gained $1.25 to close at $51.25 on news of the rating change by Smith Barney's Henry C. Dickson, who added his voice to a chorus of banking analysts arguing that megamergers in the industry are beginning to pay off for investors.

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