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Soundview Upgrades Mercury Interactive to 'Outperform'

Soundview upgraded Mercury Interactive (MERQ) to outperform from neutral. Yesterday, the company announced the completion of its acquisition of Kintana.

Analyst Greg Kleiner says the Kintana acquisition and other strategic moves have largely addressed product-related concerns. He says industry checks indicate IBM's moves in the testing space will be further out and have less of of an impact on MERQ than initially thought. He notes recent underperformance increases MERQ's attractiveness.

Kleiner raises his earnings per share estimates from 94 cents to 95 cents in 2003 and from $1.16 to $1.20 in 2004. He says his estimates could prove conservative as momentum at Kintana is continuing. He raised his $41 stock price target to $48.

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