BEA meets Wall Street numbers for 1Q 2004

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BEA Systems met Wall Street expectations for its 2004 fiscal first quarter, though license revenue for its software products was down 9 percent sequentially, company executives said Wednesday.

BEA reported net income of US$24.5 million and diluted net income per share of 6 cents for the first quarter, up from US$3.9 million and 1 cent last year.

On a pro forma basis, earnings were US$28.5 million, or 7 cents per share, for its fiscal first quarter ended April 30, 2003, executives said in a conference call Wednesday. Thomson Financial/First Call projected that BEA would post earnings of 7 cents per share for the quarter, up from 6 cents per share for the same quarter last year.

Sales were up slightly for the quarter from the year-ago quarter, from US$224 million last year to US$237.3 million for fiscal first-quarter 2004, according to BEA.

License revenue for the quarter was 52 percent of revenue at US$122.3 million, down 9 percent from 131.1 million for the same quarter last year. Revenue from services was US$115 million, 48 percent of total revenue.

In a conference call, BEA Chairman, CEO and President Alfred Chaung highlighted BEA's ability to consistently meet its numbers through a difficult economic climate and amid increased pressure from tech giant IBM, which Gartner said now has the lead in the application server market. "BEA is a strong company with strong business fundamentals and a strong business team," he said.

Chuang also highlighted BEA's forthcoming WebLogic application development platform, version 8.1, as a "giant leap forward" for the company.

Chuang said WebLogic Enterprise Platform 8.1's integration of application server, portal and integration server, along with BEA's WebLogic Workshop visual tool for building applications on the platform, will provide "huge productivity benefits and simplify the process of integrating applications."

BEA has said it will make the 8.1 versions of portal, application server and WebLogic Workshop available next month, with the 8.1 integration server due in August.

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