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
analyst Craig Wood also said the company's guidance for 2001 was "positive" but "not significantly ahead of what people were expecting," according to
called the company's fourth quarter "impressive" and maintained its hold rating. Still, it warned that 2001 would be "more challenging" amid increasing competition.
also maintained its buy rating on PeopleSoft, which surpassed the brokerage's revenue and earnings expectations for the fourth quarter, while
reiterated its strong buy rating and raised its price target to $60 from $55.
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
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