UPDATE 2-Nice Systems names Americas chief Barak Eilam as CEO

Tue Feb 4, 2014 12:38pm EST

By Steven Scheer

JERUSALEM Feb 4 (Reuters) - Israel-based software provider Nice Systems said Barak Eilam - the head of its Americas business - will take over as its new chief executive by the end of April.

He will replace Zeevi Bregman, who has been CEO since September 2009. Bregman is leaving the position to pursue personal interests, Nice said on Tuesday.

"Near term, we do not expect any major changes in Nice's strategy, but we imagine that the rise of a younger CEO could signal a more aggressive stance in key areas such as M&A strategy," Oppenheimer analyst Shaul Eyal said in a note.

Eilam has been president of Nice Americas - where the company earns about half its revenue - for the past year and a half.

Nice Chairman David Kostman said: "Barak has a strong track record of building businesses and delivering results and has been a major contributor to the growth and success of Nice."

The firm has benefited from growing demand for tools to delve into large amounts of data as companies look to improve their businesses, detect fraud and fend off security threats.

It says it helps call centres work efficiently, while its systems aid in surveillance for security forces trying to protect buildings and transport networks against attack.

"We expect Nice to continue its profitable evolution into an enterprise software leader," Eyal said, reiterating an "outperform" recommendation and $48 price target.

"We remain confident that the company should be able to grow revenue organically in the mid-to-high single digits with high-teens operating margins."

The firm's Nasdaq-listed shares were flat at $38.60 in mid-session. In Tel Aviv its shares closed down 0.7 percent, against a flat Tel Aviv 100 index.

Nice will issue fourth-quarter financial results on Wednesday. The company projects revenue of $260-$275 million and adjusted earnings per share of 72 to 77 cents.

For 2013, it expects revenue of $940-$955 million and EPS excluding one-time items of $2.55-$2.60.

Eilam has worked for Nice for 15 years. Before becoming president of Nice Americas, which is a $500 million-a-year business, he was the head of sales and general manager of Nice's enterprise group in the Americas.