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Thomas Weisel Cuts Business Objects Rating

Thomas Weisel downgraded its investment rating on shares of Business Objects (BOBJ) to buy from strong buy.

Analyst Tom Ernst says his checks show strong execution in a difficult environment; the company is seeing positive traction from selling initiatives. However, he says there seems to be increasing indications of channel friction. He notes sales tactics have been more aggressive, especially in the last two weeks of June. Ernst thinks this type of sales approach late in the quarter may indicate the company is not entirely comfortable with its pipeline relative to expectations. He sees $0.74 2002 EPS, $0.95 in 2003. Ernst cut his $560 million 2003 revenue estimate to $540 million. He also cut his 12-month price target to $40.

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