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Pegasystems Inc. Stock Fell 10% Friday

By Steve Symington - Feb 8, 2016 at 9:39AM

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The enterprise business software specialist declined on no news.

What: Shares of Pegasystems Inc. (PEGA -0.51%) fell 10.2% Friday on no company-specific news.

So what: With shares of Pegasystems trading up 14% over the prior year going into Thursday's close, this appears to be yet another sympathetic decline with the broader market. Note that the Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 3.3% on Friday, dragging several other previously high-flying tech stocks down with it in the process.

Now what: As it stands now, Pegasystems stock trades at a seemingly rich 48 times trailing-12-month earnings and 22.5 times next year's estimates. But given the company's most recent impressive quarterly report at the end of October -- which pushed shares to all-time highs after another sequential acceleration in both revenue (up 18% to $162 million) and earnings (up 58% to $13.3 million, and 55% to $0.17 per share) -- it's not hard to argue those are well-deserved multiples.

At the time, Pegasystems CEO Alan Trefler hailed the strong quarter, and indicated the company would be further increasing sales and marketing investments to continue to expand not only business with existing clients, but also its overall target customer base.

Pegasystems should release fourth-quarter results later this month, and you can bet investors will be watching closely to see whether those investments continue to bear fruit. In the meantime, however, I think shareholders would do well to filter out the market's noise and focus on Pegasystems' underlying business.

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