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MINNEAPOLIS, May 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Piper Jaffray commends its analysts ranked for their stock picking prowess in the Wall Street Journal's annual Best on the Street Analyst Survey. The firm ranked fourth overall among the 73 firms highlighted in the survey. The firms recognized in this year's survey were ranked according to the total number of Best on the Street awards their analysts earned. According to the Wall Street Journal, 213 analysts were ranked this year, though award-winning analysts were selected from a universe of more than 4,000 analysts at more than 270 firms. Of that group, 1,608 analysts met the survey's eligibility tests and qualified to have their research analyzed in detail.

Piper Jaffray Senior Research Analyst Peter Swanson ranked No. 1 in the Business & Industrial Services sector. Swanson was selected for his stock picks of Alliance Data Systems Corp. and Intercept Inc. Swanson was also named to this year's rankings for top equity research analysts, ranking No. 3 overall in the IT sector.

The following Piper Jaffray senior research analysts were also highlighted in this year's Best on the Street Survey:

    -- Brett Manderfeld, Internet & Computer Services, Ranked No. 2 and
       Business & Industrial Services, Ranked No. 5
    -- Steve Hamill, Medical Equipment, Ranked No. 2
    -- Eric Larson, Retailers: Food & Drug, Ranked No. 3
    -- Gene Munster, Software, Ranked No. 5
    -- Mike Walkley, Telecommunications Equipment, Ranked No. 5

Manderfeld was one of only seven analysts (out of 213 eligible analysts) in this year's survey to earn a top-five ranking in more than one category. In addition, Sean Wieland who recently joined Piper Jaffray as a senior analyst in health care services received a No. 3 ranking in the software category while at his previous firm.

"This achievement, along with recent top rankings from third parties, such as, shows the strides we've made to increase our research quality, and our dedication to provide clients with accurate stock ratings and proprietary research," said Mike Ott, head of Equity Research at Piper Jaffray. "This is well-deserved recognition for a very talented analyst group. Congratulations to Peter, Brett, Steve, Eric, Gene, Mike and Sean."

Compiling the Best on the Street Survey

According to the Wall Street Journal, analysts' skill in picking stocks was measured using recommendation-performance scores. These scores were calculated by Thomson Financial on the basis of the estimated total return, including price changes and dividends, of each eligible stock an analyst covered in an industry. Total-return data were provided by Thomson Datastream.

Analysts got credit for being right about 'buy' and 'sell' recommendations. For a stock rated a 'buy,' a positive total return yielded a positive score on that stock, but a negative return produced a negative score. Similarly, for a stock rated 'sell,' a negative total return yielded a positive score while a positive return resulted in a negative score. 'Hold' recommendations did not affect the score. The final performance score also reflects such factors as the number of stocks in an analyst's 'portfolio.' To be eligible, analysts must have been based in the U.S. or Canada. Typically, they worked for the same firm throughout 2004.

Piper Jaffray & Co. is the chief operating subsidiary of Piper Jaffray Companies (NYSE: PJC), a focused securities firm dedicated to delivering superior financial advice, investment products and transaction execution within selected sectors of the financial services marketplace. The company operates through two primary revenue-generating segments: Capital Markets and Private Client Services. Piper Jaffray & Co. has served corporations, government and non-profit entities, institutional investors and the financial advisory needs of private individuals since 1895. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Piper Jaffray has approximately 3,000 employees in 104 offices in 23 states across the country and in London. For more information about Piper Jaffray, visit us online at .

Since 1895. Member SIPC and NYSE.

SOURCE  Piper Jaffray & Co.
    -0-                             05/17/2005
    /CONTACT:  Susan Beatty, Media Relations of Piper Jaffray,
    /Web site: /

CO:  Piper Jaffray & Co.; Piper Jaffray Companies; Wall Street Journal
ST:  Minnesota

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1783 05/17/2005 15:49 EDT