) to strong buy from buy.
Analyst Wendell Laidley says the upgrade is based
on the belief that Q4 has represented the most challenging near-term obstacle. He also notes Q1 seasonality (a 29% sequential revenue decline) will create shelter from the last of the storm. He expects current estimates do not reflect the positive impact of Q4 calendar 2001 or first-half calendar 2002
as there's been a macro re-acceleration in spending.
Laidley notes in the face of a more challenging environment, Oracle reported seasonally solid Q4 results of $3.26 billion revenue vs. his $3.35 billion estimate, and $0.15 EPS vs. his $0.13 estimate. Laidley has a $24 target.