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Underwriters push Vitria higher

Vitria Tech (Nasdaq: VITR) got a 23 percent boost from its underwriters Tuesday. Shares in the Internet infrastructure software firm rose 11 1/16 to 57 5/8 as three firms initiated coverage.

Banc Boston Robertson Stephens and SoundView Technology both initiated coverage of the company with a "buy" rating, while Credit Suisse First Boston started it at "strong buy."

Not surprisingly, Credit Suisse First Boston was the lead underwriter for Vitria's IPO. Robertson Stephens was a co-manager, along with Merrill Lynch, who has yet to initiate coverage. SoundView Technology was also an underwriter, according to Vitria's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Vitria Technology, headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., makes eBusiness infrastructure software for process automation and application integration across enterprise systems.

Here's a sampling of Tuesday's comments:

  • "We believe Vitria is emerging as a leading player in the rapidly growing market for eBusiness infrastructure software," said Marshall Senk, Robertson Stephens analysts in a statement.

    "In our view, Vitria provides a critical piece in enabling eBusiness via its BusinessWare platform, which, for the first time, synchronizes their business processes across multiple applications,'' he said.

  • Credit Suisse First Boston analyst Wendell Laidley also set a $75 12-month price target for the shares which he recommended at "strong buy." He called the company a "core technology holding for growth-oriented technology investors" with the "potential to define a critical slice of the exploding eBusiness market."

    "The company is capable of delivering revenue growth of 70-percent-plus for the next three-five years," Laidley said in a report. He added that since its IPO, Vitria "has made significant progress with third party partnerships, added several new blue-chip customers that validate the "killer app factory" strategy and backlog is through the roof."

  • Vitria also announced Tuesday it had entered an agreement with Clarify Inc. (Nasdaq: CLFY) to provide software for the telecommunications industry. The deal makes Clarify the first front office vendor to bundle Vitria BusinessWare in the telecommunications market, according to the company release.