New York, New York, Dec. 20, 2000 (Reuters) – Shares of Siebel Systems Inc., maker of software that helps corporate sales staff manage their accounts, fell as much as 14 percent on Tuesday as investors debated the company's outlook after a research note from Credit Suisse First Boston, market watchers said. The company's stock fell as low as $67-1/2 in early trading but then bounced back to trade at $71-15/16, still down 8 percent. The shares were among the Nasdaq market's most heavily traded issues, with 12.3 million shares changing hands.

Credit Suisse First Boston analysts Brent Thill and John Torrey said in a research report Tuesday that Siebel remained the leader within the customer relationship management market but growth in its core U.S. enterprise accounts was moderating more than expected. Thill and Torrey said that, while questions abound about the impact a general economic slowdown would have on the demand environment for e-business applications, Siebel remained strong thanks to the company's platform of products that enable long-term customer relationships.

``While no company is completely insulated from a total economic meltdown, we believe Siebel would hold up better than most,'' Thill and Torrey said.

CSFB has a ``strong buy'' investment recommendation on Siebel, which is based in San Mateo, Calif. Money managers agreed that the CSFB note had rattled investors.

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