PeopleSoft meets Q4 targets

PeopleSoft wrapped up its 2003 fiscal year with a financial report that met analyst expectations but provided little insight into how its business fared in the past year.

PeopleSoft acquired fellow business applications maker J.D. Edwards & Co. in July, but did not provide in its report, released Thursday, a breakdown of how that acquisition affected its revenue, making year-over-year comparisons of its results hard to assess.

For the fourth quarter, ended Dec. 31, PeopleSoft reported revenue of $685.2 million, up from $512.3 million in last year's fourth quarter, which was before it had merged with J.D. Edwards. Excluding charges related to the acquisition, PeopleSoft had operating income of $112.5 million and per-share earnings of $0.20, in line with the consensus forecast of analysts polled by Thomson First Call. Including the acquisition costs, PeopleSoft's net income for the quarter was $17.4 million.

Touting a string of customer wins during the quarter, PeopleSoft Chief Executive Officer Craig Conway said in a statement that his company "couldn't be better positioned" for the coming year. He cited an improving economy and PeopleSoft's new bulk, thanks to the J.D. Edwards buyout, as causes for shareholder and customer optimism.

PeopleSoft's revenue for the year was $2.3 billion, up from $1.9 billion in 2002. Including acquisition costs, its net income for the year was $85 million, down from $182.6 million in the previous year.

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