First Union Lowers E.Piphany Rating

Analyst Jason Maynard says the company faces an ongoing challenge of building up its customer base

E.Piphany (EPNY ) sees a Q1 loss per share from operations of up to $0.40 on $38 million in revenues. First Union downgraded its investment rating on the shares to market perform from buy.

Analyst Jason Maynard told S&P MarketScope that he was expecting a $0.10 loss in Q1 on $53 million in revenues. Due to the shortfall, he widened his $0.08 2001 loss estimate to a $0.58 loss and cut his $271 million revenue estimate the year to $173 million.

Maynard says the downgrade reflects a near-term lack of visibility. He notes the company tied the Q1 shortfall to continuing economic uncertainty in the U.S., resulting in longer sales cycles and delayed projects. Maynard sees economic uncertainty lasting at least another quarter or two, leaving E.Piphany with the ongoing challenge of building up its customer base. Due to the lack of visibility, he does not have estimates beyond 2001.

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