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Simple analytical expressions for the oscillation frequency, quantum FM noise spectrum, oscillation power spectrum, spectral linewidth, and direct optical frequency modulation efficiency in semiconductor lasers with external grating feedback are presented. Experimental results for the grating loaded AlGaAs lasers are in good agreement with the theoretical predictions. Remarkable reduction in spectral linewidth to less than 50 kHz is achieved by feeding back only 10-3of the output power. Oscillation frequency stabilization, frequency jump behavior, and reduction in direct optical frequency modulation efficiency are also discussed.