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CIBC World Downgrades Siebel to 'Hold'

CIBC World downgraded Siebel Systems (SEBL) to hold from strong buy.

Analyst Robert Maina says his rating was cut due to a second quarter shortfall and continuing weak visibility. He cited weaker than expected license revenues of $170 million vs. his $200 million estimate.

Maina says the company also announced a 15% workforce cut, which will take place over the next few quarters. He says this suggests poor visibility, and he doesn't see activity improving until mid-2003. He still thinks the software compay is best positioned to benefit from a recovery in demand for customer relationship management, but the dour outlook for the next few quarters makes him more conservative. Maina cut his $0.48 2002 earnings per share estimate to $0.26, and cut the $0.60 2003 estimate to $0.18.

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