Goldman Sachs keeps its in-line rating on Siebel Systems (SEBL ).
Analyst Rick Sherlund says Siebel's preannounced fourth-quarter results are an encouraging sign of business conditions in the broader enterprise software sector. He notes license revenues of $150 million, vs. his $130 million; this number is down about 5% year over year, but is getting directionally better.
Sherlund says management indicated it had seen greater buying interest in all geographies in the fourth quarter. He says the company was reluctant to extrapolate in the first quarter, noting that it wasn't clear how much of this might be a seasonally strong fourth quarter, vs. more sustainable improvement.
He sees 14 cents 2003 earnings per share and 30 cents 2004 earnings per share.