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Lehman Downgrades Several B2B Names

Lehman Brothers downgraded its investment recommendation on several business-to-business (B2B) software stocks.

Analyst Patrick Walravens says the macro environment for B2B stocks has deteriorated, and that i2 Technologies' (ITWO) acquisition of RightWorks will increase pricing pressures for procurement software. He downgraded all the stocks in his B2B universe by one notch: Ariba (ARBA), Commerce One (CMRC), VericalNet (VERT) to market perform from buy; and (PPRO) to buy from strong buy. He notes that his talks with Global 1000 companies confirm their reluctance to approve big-ticket software deals, and their tendency to implement tougher criteria for return on investment (ROI) analysis.

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