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Lehman Keeps 'Buy' on Oracle


Lehman Brothers reiterates buy on Oracle (ORCL).

Analyst Neil Herman says fourth quarter earnings per share exceeded estimates. However, he notes the company effectively cut the first quarter guidance to $0.06-$0.07 earnings per share from the $0.09 consensus estimate. He commends the company for a tremendous job done on its expense line, especially bringing down expenses per employee by almost 20%. He also sees focus remaining on expenses going forward. Given the continued tough environment, and cautious outlook, Herman cut the $0.41 fiscal 2003 (May) EPS estimate to $0.37, and set $0.41 fiscal 2004 estimate. He also cut the $25 target to $12. Herman thinks the stock is attractive on a price-earnings multiple basis, and is out of the danger zone for the next three months.


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