Happy Surprises At Perficient

Will It Spike Higher?
Little-known Perficient (PRFT ), whose solid first quarter represented its ninth straight period of increased operating earnings, isn't done pulling favorable surprises. So says CEO Jack McDonald, who figures internal growth, aided by acquisitions in the pipeline, will boost 2005 and 2006 sales and profits. Perficient helps companies adapt their systems to the Net, using IBM's (IBM ) WebSphere software. He figures sales could hit $200 million in 2006 -- twice the prevailing forecast -- based on current sales, plus acquisitions in the works that he estimates would bring in $50 million. Peter Heckmann of Stifel Nicolaus (SF ), which has done banking for Perficient, sees earnings of 25 cents a share in 2005 on sales of $84.2 million, and 32 cents in 2006 on $99.8 million (excluding acquisitions). Jamie Cuellar of Brazos Mutual Funds started buying shares -- now at 7 -- in November at 4.50. He says improved corporate spending on info tech is driving up Perficient's sales. The company was featured in this column on May 10, 2004, when shares traded at 4.11.

Note: Unless otherwise noted, neither the sources cited in Inside Wall Street nor their firms hold positions in the stocks under discussion. Similarly, they have no investment banking or other financial relationships with them.

By Gene G. Marcial

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