After a stellar share price performance over several years, investors in software maker Integrated Research have suffered a drubbing in recent weeks, with bulls and bears moving to opposing corners.

IR shares were collateral damage when shares in another tech stock, Technology One, were dumped in mid-May amid investor unease as it transitioned to a ‘Software as a Service’ business model.

But depending on which analyst you listen to, shares in Integrated Research are either a ‘buy’ or a ‘sell’.

Integrated Research (ASX:IRI) makes software that keeps critical computer systems such as payments and communications platforms running smoothly.

Its critical performance software is used by global stock exchanges, telcos and the like, with a small, but prized, global market.

As earnings have expanded, shares in Integrated Research have enjoyed a stellar gain in recent years, rallying from below 50c seven or eight years ago, to top $4 in recent months.

But the recent sell-off, which has pushed the shares close to $3 has exposed a fault line among analysts.

Long time supporter Bell Potter reckons shares in Integrated Research are a screaming buy with a $4.15 price target.

Integrated Research shares (ASX:IRI) over the past year
Integrated Research shares (ASX:IRI) over the past year

“There is no clear reason for the share price fall,” its analysts told clients in a recent note.

The company agreed when the ASX questioned the share price decline.

Another broker, Wilson’s, isn’t so gung-ho on its clients taking advantage of the decline, slapping a ‘sell’ on the shares, with a $2.65 12-month price target, due to concerns over income from software licence payments over the next couple of years.