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'Palm' Is the Word as Peregrine Stock Rockets on Software News

March 02, 2000|Times Staff; Bloomberg News

Just say "Palm" and see what happens.

That may be what more tech companies will be thinking after San Diego-based Peregrine Systems (ticker symbol: PRGN) saw its shares soar $15.25 to a record $69.88 on Wednesday.

The trigger: Peregrine, which makes software for computer-system help desks, announced that its ServiceCenter software will run on the Palm system.

The linkage will allow field computer technicians to download problem "tickets" via Palm devices instead of writing tickets by hand and reentering the information back at the central office.

Peregrine is "extending their product line to the Web and that's exciting to investors," said David Breiner, analyst at Prudential Volpe Technology. He rates the stock "strong buy."

"If anything is driving [the stock] up, it's the investment community beginning to compare us to Ariba or Commerce One, which have extremely high market caps," suggested Richard Berzle, Peregrine Systems vice president for corporate marketing.

Wishful thinking? Ariba and Commerce One are two well-known business-to-business Internet commerce facilitators, with market capitalizations (stock price times number of shares outstanding) of $27 billion and $16 billion, respectively. Peregrine, bigger than either of those firms in sales, has a market cap of $7.3 billion.

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