Needham Upgrades Fair Isaac to 'Strong Buy'

Analyst Andrew Jeffrey thinks a sharp sell-off on Tuesday following an earnings shortfall will create a buying opportunity

Needham upgraded Fair Isaac (FIC ) to strong buy from buy, and keeps the $77 target.

Analyst Andrew Jeffrey says his upgrade of customer analytics and decision technology maker reflects the view that a sharp sell-off Tuesday will create a buying opportunity. He says the fourth-quarter miss is due to slippage of some larger deals from the fourth quarter into the first quarter, and is a function of a longer sales cycles associated with bigger deals. He doesn't think Fair Isaac is losing deals to anyone.

Still, he believes the company is gaining share in the market for predictive analytics and decisioning. Jeffrey thinks as management gets used to closing deals in the pipeline, Fair Isaac will demonstrate accelerating revenue growth. He upped the $2.65 fiscal 2004 (Sep.) earnings per share estimate to $2.68, and raised the $716 million revenue estimate to $725

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