) to outperform from sector perform.
Analyst Cameron Steele says despite the IT recession, he believes Oracle remains a franchise vendor in the enterprise software market, with improving product and operational characteristics, coupled with low investor expectations. He says he's encouraged by the company's wholesale upgrade of products, its improving go-to-market strategy, continuing strong operating results, and favorable valuation, all despite an extremely tough demand environment for capital expenditures. To reflect more conservatism, Steele trimmed $0.13 fourth quarter EPS estimate to $0.12, $0.45 fiscal 2003 (May) to $0.42. He trimmed the $18 12-month target to $15.