Return a value from SQLPLUS to a korn shell environment variable

#!/usr/bin/ksh
#does user exist
TARGET_USER=$1
VALUE=`sqlplus -silent <"system/password@xxpr04"> system/password@xxpr04 << END
set pagesize 0 feedback off verify off heading off echo off
select username from dba_users where username = UPPER('$1');
exit;
END

`if [ "$VALUE" = "$TARGET_USER" ]; then
echo "Rocky.....that user does exist"
else
echo "Rocky.....that user does not exist"
fi

echo "The value is [$VALUE]"

echo "The target user is [$TARGET_USER]"

#end of script