SuccessFactors ( SFSF), which provides software that helps firms automate, streamline and build consistency in the hiring and management of employees, earns a $35 12-month price target from Goldman Sachs, a 19% premium to current prices.

Goldman bases its outlook on upward revision to its revenue and earnings estimates for 2011, which includes a view that a recovering economy will boost hiring. The company's fourth-quarter and 2010 earnings are due to be released Feb. 9. Goldman's profit model calls for 2010 revenue of $205 million and a loss of 23 cents per share; revenue of $266 million and a loss of 14 cents per share in 2011; and revenue of $330 million and earnings of 8 cents per share for 2012.

Standard & Poor's, which has a "buy" rating on the shares, says the company is investing heavily in future growth, and so operating expenses will be around 96% of revenue in 2010 and 2011, and, after factoring in stock-based compensation expense, costs are expected to exceed revenues. It expects a loss of 7 cents per share in the fourth quarter and a 26-cent loss per share for 2010. Its poll of analysts resulted in a mean estimate of earnings per share of 11 cents for 2011, or a 57% increase. Shares are up 2.4% this year.

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