It's hard to please people, as



discovered Wednesday morning. The business-management software firm was downgraded to neutral from outperform by

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

, despite posting

positive fourth-quarter results and 2001 guidance Tuesday.

Reaction from other analysts was mixed, but investors pushed the company's shares down $6.13, or 12.53%, to $42.75 in morning trading on the



Merrill Lynch

analyst Craig Wood also said the company's guidance for 2001 was "positive" but "not significantly ahead of what people were expecting," according to




UBS Warburg

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called the company's fourth quarter "impressive" and maintained its hold rating. Still, it warned that 2001 would be "more challenging" amid increasing competition.

US Bancorp

also maintained its buy rating on PeopleSoft, which surpassed the brokerage's revenue and earnings expectations for the fourth quarter, while

Lehman Brothers

reiterated its strong buy rating and raised its price target to $60 from $55.

J.P Morgan

analyst James Pickrel, who kept his buy rating on the company, raised his 2001 revenue estimates to $2.1 billion from $1.9 billion, and earnings-per-share estimates to 62 cents from 60 cents, saying he remains "enthusiastic" about his outlook for Peoplesoft. Pickrel also said Wednesday he believes the company "is ready to compete on equal footing" with rivals like


(ORCL) - Get Oracle Corporation Report



(SAP) - Get SAP SE Sponsored ADR Report


Commenting on the industry as a whole, Pickrel said he believes "companies will have the budget to spend on packaged software" and that "competition will not drive this market to a complete zero-sum game."

Shares of Oracle were lately down 6 cents, or 0.21%, to $30.19 on the Nasdaq, while SAP was trading up $1.95, or 4.16%, to $48.88 on the

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