JMP Keeps Strong Buy on Oracle

Analyst Patrick Walravens also trimmed his price target on the database-software giant

JMP Securities maintains the strong buy rating on Oracle (ORCL ).

Analyst Patrick Walravens cut the $17 target to $15 to reflect an overall decrease in software trading multiples that has occurred over the past six months. He notes that his new target places Oracle at 24 times the calendar 2005 p-e, a slight discount to the peer group.

Walravens believes Oracle will continue to benefit from better sales execution, a recovery in database investments, and gradual improvement in information-technology spending in 2004. He notes fourth-quarter EPS were a penny above his estimate and consensus estimates. He says Oracle guided to 9 cents first-quarter EPS, in line with his and consensus estimates.

Walravens raised the 56 cents fiscal 2005 (May) EPS estimate to 58 cents, and set a 67 cents fiscal 2006 EPS estimate.

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