) to buy from hold.
Analyst Brian Skiba says management expects a stock buyback to be accretive to 2004 earnings per share by 3 cents. He notes management said the spending environment has improved incrementally. Skiba thinks the J.D. Edwards acquisition gives PeopleSoft additional strength, positioning the combined company as the solid No. 2 enterprise applications firm behind SAP.
Skiba raised the 53 cents 2003 earnings per share estimate to 54 cents; he has a 95 cents 2004 estimate. Also, Skiba raised the $16 target to $24.