Markets & Finance

Robbie Stephens Ups Mercury Interactive

Robertson Stephens upgrades Mercury Interactive (MERQ) to buy from market perform after it posts $0.14 4Q EPS.

Analyst Michael Beckwith says the company is one of the best-run, highest-quality infrastructure software names. He says 4Q results point to stabilization in IT spending, lower levels of near-term operating risk. He sees accelerating revenue, EPS growth throughout 2002; 25% EPS growth rate in 2003 and beyond. He raises his $0.62 2002 cash EPS estimate to $0.69 and sees $0.95 in 2003. Beckwith is confident that the compoany can meet his estimates based on continued strength in performance management offerings, packaged applications testing business. He raises his $31 12-month target to $38.

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