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Deltek Meets the Market

It was an awful time for an IPO, but Deltek (Nasdaq: PROJ  ) managed an admirable debut yesterday. The stock price fell only $0.05, to $17.95 on its first day of trading.

Then again, Deltek has developed a strong suite of software for project planning, which helps with the design of airports, stadiums, and even the space shuttle. Its capabilities include regulatory compliance, profitability analysis, business development, and scheduling.

There are competitive offerings from companies such as Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL  ) , SAP (NYSE: SAP  ) , and Lawson (Nasdaq: LWSN  ) , however, these solutions require significant customization, which can be quite expensive.

Deltek, on the other hand, has specialized in its sector for more than 20 years and has racked up more than 12,000 customers, which include biggies like Boeing and Lockheed (NYSE: LMT  ) .

It's turned into a growth business, with revenues increasing 23% to $130.8 million for the first half of this year, and net income of $9.6 million. The operating margin is a hefty 19%.

In light of its growth rate and solid customer base, Deltek's valuation is reasonable at three times revenues. Other mid-tier enterprise software companies -- such as Wind River Systems (Nasdaq: WIND  ) and MicroStrategy (Nasdaq: MSTR  )  -- have similar multiples. In other words, there really is no bargain here, so there's no need for Foolish investors to jump on the stock.

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