Siebel quarterly results come up short

Siebel warned Tuesday that its revenue and earnings for the first three months of 2005 came in below expectations.

Siebel Systems warned Tuesday that its revenue and earnings for the first three months of 2005 came in below expectations, a result it attributed to deals slipping through in the quarter's final days.

Siebel CEO Mike Lawrie said the shortfall came from declining applications license revenue; Siebel's services and maintenance businesses met expectations, he said in a written statement.

"Though we predicted some license revenue softness going into the quarter due to normal seasonality, we did not expect the results to be this low," Lawrie said. "This was a combination of poor execution on our part, exacerbated by a challenging economic and IT environment."

Siebel expects total revenue for the quarter, which ended March 31, to come in between US$297 million and US$300 million. The consensus forecast of analysts polled by Thomson First Call was for revenue of US$337.5 million. In last year's first quarter, Siebel had revenue of US$329.3 million.

Siebel expects license revenue for the quarter to be US$75 million, down from US$126.8 million in last year's first quarter.

Excluding a charge related to its January acquisition of Edocs, Siebel expects net income for the quarter of US$2 million to US$4 million, or up to US$0.01 per share. Analysts' consensus estimate was for earnings of $0.05 per share.

Lawrie, who took over as Siebel's CEO in May 2004, promised "decisive action" in response to the weak quarter, but did not immediately specify what he intended. Siebel scheduled a conference call Tuesday afternoon with analysts to discuss its preliminary results. Siebel is scheduled to release its full results on April 27.

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