Lehman Downgrades Several B2B Names

Analyst Patrick Walravens says the macro environment for these stocks has deteriorated -- and that pricing pressures will increase

Lehman Brothers downgraded its investment recommendation on several business-to-business (B2B) software stocks.

Analyst Patrick Walravens says the macro environment for B2B stocks has deteriorated, and that i2 Technologies' (ITWO ) acquisition of RightWorks will increase pricing pressures for procurement software. He downgraded all the stocks in his B2B universe by one notch: Ariba (ARBA ), Commerce One (CMRC ), VericalNet (VERT ) to market perform from buy; and PurchasePro.com (PPRO ) to buy from strong buy. He notes that his talks with Global 1000 companies confirm their reluctance to approve big-ticket software deals, and their tendency to implement tougher criteria for return on investment (ROI) analysis.

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