Analyst reports: New products and alliance boost BroadVision

Wall Street emphasizes its enthusiasm for BroadVision after the e-commerce software developer hosts analysts at a fancy get-together in San Francisco.

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Wall Street emphasized its enthusiasm for BroadVision on Thursday, a day after the e-commerce software developer hosted analysts at a fancy get-together in San Francisco.

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A broad vision for e-business
Pehong Chen, CEO, BroadVision

Redwood City, Calif.-based BroadVision unveiled its next-generation "One-to-One Enterprise" product suite on Wednesday and announced a strategic marketing and product-development alliance with BEA Systems.

The commercial release of version 6.0 is expected in March. BroadVision will introduce the updated software to its sales force over the next two months, with one of the first meetings scheduled for Dec. 5 in San Francisco.

The One-to-One Enterprise suite will include support for J2EE standards, which allow users to more easily customize and integrate the BroadVision applications for greater interoperability and speed.

Basically, BroadVision hopes to put a Java "wrapper" around the core of its existing suite of C++ applications, rewrite a few select components of those applications in Java and incorporate Java in all new developments. That means that BroadVision products will be able to operate on a range of non-PC products, correcting a flaw that analysts said was the main drag on the stock.

At midday, BroadVision stock was trading at $34.63, up 5.32 percent from its closing price on Wednesday. Although the stock got hammered with the market downturn and is still 39 percent below its price at the beginning of the year, it's 17 percent above its price at the beginning of November.

BroadVision also announced Wednesday that it has agreed to embed BEA Systems' popular WebLogic Server within the BroadVision One-To-One Enterprise suite.

San Jose, Calif.-based BEA is one of the world's leading e-business infrastructure software companies, and it has remained a Wall Street darling as other technology companies have stumbled in the skittish stock market.

BEA's WebLogic software works like an operating system such as Microsoft's dominant Windows system, allowing companies to share information among different systems in their networks and over the Internet.

BroadVision and BEA have agreed to engage in collaborative engineering and marketing initiatives. They will eventually produce software that combines Java-based application servers with e-business software applications.

Analysts hailed the new software and alliance as they enjoyed the generally "upbeat" tone of the conference in San Francisco.

"We believe BroadVision has built some of the most formidable strategic alliances with other technology vendors in the industry, which should continue to fuel more opportunities and mindshare in the e-business applications market," wrote ABN Amro analysts Jackson Spears Jr., Michelle Fink and Yun Kim in a research report issued Thursday. The trio reiterated its "buy" rating.

"This BEA Systems alliance opens up a potentially huge market opportunity for BroadVision products," they wrote.

Other analysts were also bullish on BroadVision.

Dain Rauscher Wessel and Wasserstein Perella reiterated "strong buy" ratings. Friedman Billings, Southwest Securities and Kaufman Brothers reiterated "buy" ratings.

Prudential Volpe maintained its relatively tepid "accumulate" rating, while Robinson-Humphrey boosted its rating to "outperform."