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Salomon SB Reduces Estimates for Application Software Makers

Salomon Smith Barney cut earnings estimates for Siebel Systems (SEBL) and eight other application software companies, including Ariba (ARBA), E.piphany (EPNY), EXE Technologies (EXEE), Informatica (INFA), i2 Technologies (ITWO), Microsoft (MSFT), PeopleSoft (PSFT), and Vignette (VIGN).

Analyst Heather Bellini says her thesis for this group of application software companies has been that the second quarter would be the toughest quarter of 2002. She cited two reasons for this thesis: 1) less backlog going into June quarter vs. the March quarter; 2) the need to build backlog for seasonally weak September quarter.

Based on her view that tough selling conditions experienced in March seem to have continued into April and May, she cut estimates for the entire group. For Siebel, she cut her EPS forecasts from 0.53 to $0.49 for 2002, and from $0.70 to $0.67 for 2003. She maintained her buy rating on SEBL with a $33 price target.

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