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Andrew T. Gillies is Director of Communications at the Center for Audit Quality, an affiliate of the American Institute of CPAs, in Washington, DC. Based in Washington since 2002, he has also worked in editorial and communications roles at the Investment Company Institute, the World Bank, Forbes, and Vault.com. His policy-themed writing has focused on aerospace and defense, energy and environment, transportation, and financial services.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Beltway Bet: NICE Systems

The last 10 years have been quite a ride for shareholders in Israel's NICE Systems, a developer of data-analysis technology for use in security and customer service. The Nasdaq-listed stock jumped to a tech-boom high of $50 in March 2000, only to sink to $3 per share a year and a half later. Since then, it has gradually recovered and now trades at $31.

Equity analyst Daniel Ives of Arlington, Va.'s Friedman, Billings, Ramsey & Co., believes NICE Systems' (nasdaq: NICE) stock will continue to climb back toward its 2000 peak.

"They're a well-run company," he says. "The stock is undervalued based on growth." (Note: Friedman, Billings, Ramsey makes a market in NICE Systems shares but does no banking work for the company).

One reason for his optimism: the potential in NICE's security and surveillance business, which accounted for 24% of its $517 million in sales for the year ended December 2007. Ives thinks NICE can build on its big wins with government customers like the Federal Aviation Administration and the city of New York.

Full story at Forbes.com