Citigroup Upgrades Siebel Systems to 'In-Line'

Analyst Tom Berquist thinks much of the risk is out of the stock, following the software maker's earnings warning

Citigroup upgraded Siebel Systems (SEBL ) to in-line from underperform.

On Thursday software maker Siebel forecast 2 cents second-quarter earnings per share on $330 million to $334 million total revenues, and $110 million license revenues.

Analyst Tom Berquist says with the second-quarter earnings warning out of the way, he thinks much of the risk is out of the stock. He also thinks Siebel's $3.91 net cash balance, and the enterprise value-to-sales multiple of 2.1, offers downside support.

Berquist says Siebel's $110 million license revenue estimate is below his $130 million estimate, but notes the 2 cents earnings per share guidance was only a penny below his estimate and is most likely attributed to lower variable expenses. He thinks Siebel is taking the appropriate cost actions.

Berquist maintains his 11 cents 2003 earnings per share estimate, and raised the 18 cents 2004 estimate to 19 cents.

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