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BofA Boosts Siebel Rating

Banc Of America upgraded its investment recommendation on shares of Siebel Systems (SEBL) to buy from neutral, and has a $14 target price on the stock.

Analyst Hari Srinivasan says the upgrade is based on improving visibility and confidence in management's execution. He says field checks indicate that demand continues to improve with higher deal sizes and stable prices. Srinivasan notes higher software revenues boost the outlook for recent "flattish" services revenues. With new chief exec Mike Lawrie's experience in customer delivery, Srinivasan believes he's the right CEO to improve employee morale and customer satisfaction. While the company's turnaround may take a few quarters, the analyst thinks current valuations appear too compelling to ignore. Srinivasan raised his 31 cents 2004 EPS estimate to 32 cents. He has a 2005 EPS estimate of 42 cents.

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