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Merrill Lynch Upgrades Oracle to 'Buy'

Merrill Lynch upgraded Oracle (ORCL) to buy from neutral. Oracle extended its tender offer for PeopleSoft (PSFT) to midnight on Sept. 19.

Analyst Jason Maynard says he believes downside in the stock is limited and that the company has good exposure and leverage to a gradual economic recovery. Notes while there still a few weeks left in its fiscal first quarter, he believes business is tracking well and Oracle should land within its 4% to 7% revenue growth guidance.

Maynard raised his $2.07 billion first-quarter revenue estimate to $2.12 billion, and says he is comfortable with his 8 cents EPS estimate. He says as telcom, financial services, and government spending start to break out of the doldrums, Oracle stands to benefit as it generates about 40% of revenue from those sectors. He set a $15 price target on the stock.

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