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Portal Software gains on Siebel deal

    Portal Software rose 20 percent on news it has joined the Siebel Alliance Program and that the two companies will integrate their billing software to create a new product.

    Shares in Portal Software (Nasdaq: PRSF), which makes infrastructure software for broadband, wireless Internet, and communications services were up $1.34 to $8.41 Monday. Siebel Systems, (Nasdaq: SEBL) a maker of e-business applications software was up $2.56 to $50.63.

    Portal Software had topped analysts' estimates in its fourth quarter recently, earning $6.9 million, or 4 cents a share, on sales of $81.1 million. But it lowered its sales and earnings estimates for the first quarter and all of fiscal 2002. Several analysts praised the company's ability to report a strong quarter in tough times, but lowered estimates and downgraded the stock based on little possibility of a near-term recovery.

    Though the stock was up 20 percent Monday, it was still a long way from its 52-week high of $86.

    As part of the alliance, the companies plan to combine Portal's Infranet product with Siebel's eCommunications 2000 software. The companies said the joint offering will help communications service providers improve their customers' satisfaction through real-time billing and account management.

    Siebel's eCommunications product is a family of applications designed for the communications industry, that allows organizations to coordinate their customer communications.

    The Infranet platform is a billing technology that allows users to define optimal business models and price plans. Portal Software's stock has been getting lots of mileage out of Infranet customer wins lately; just last week, it enjoyed a brief rally after announcing Vodafone UK (NYSE: VOD) would use the software.