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Needham Downgrades Informatica

Needham downgrades Informatica Corp. (INFA) to hold from buy.

Analyst Charlie Chen says Mary Anne Gillespie, head of North American sales, recently left the company, introducing a headline risk in the near term, and negative implications in the medium and longer term.

He notes the Gillespie departure comes at critical time when IBM is acquiring rival Ascential. He believes the company met its first-quarter targets. He says his checks point to stable business activity, in-line performance or a modest upside.

Chen notes the possibility of Informatica being bought by Oracle, SAP, Computer Associates or a large systems integrator that could limit the stock price downside. He sees 28 cents 2005 earnings per share, and 32 cents 2006 earnings per share.

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