SoundView Upgrades Mercury Interactive

Analyst Greg Kleiner says the business software maker's stock underperformance makes it an attractive pick

SoundView upgraded Mercury Interactive (MERQ ) to outperform from neutral.

On Monday Mercury announced the completion of its acquisition of Kintana. Analyst Greg Kleiner says the Kintana acquisition, and other strategic moves, have largely addressed product-related concerns. He says industry checks indicate IBM's moves in the testing space will be further out, and have less of an impact on Mercury Interactive than he initially thought.

Kleiner notes recent underperformance increases Mercury Interactive's attractiveness. He raised the 94 cents 2003 earnings per share estimate to 95 cents, and raised the $1.16 2004 earnings per share estimate to $1.20. Also, Kleiner says these estimates could prove conservative as momentum at Kintana continues. He raised his $41 target to $48.

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