BEA tops analyst estimates, posts strong revenue growth

Countering the downward trend of many IT vendors, electronic-business software developer BEA Systems topped analyst estimates for its first quarter of 2001, ended April 30. BEA posted pro forma net earnings of $0.08 per share, on revenue of $257.2 million. Revenue grew 67 percent over the year-ago quarter.

The consensus estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Financial/First Call forecast earnings of US$0.07 per share.

BEA's licensing revenue also showed strong growth, increasing 89 percent year-over-year to $161.2 million. Pro forma net income for the quarter hit $35.9 million, up 190 percent from $12.4 million in the first quarter of 2000, BEA said. The pro forma results exclude acquisition-related expenses, payroll taxes on exercised stock options, and net gains on investments in securities.

While many vendors recently have cited a lengthened sales cycle and customer unwillingness to commit to major expenditures, BEA's bookings for the quarter were in line with its expectations, Chairman and Chief Executive Office Bill Coleman said in the earnings release. BEA posted record revenue (for the 22nd consecutive quarter) while holding the line on pricing of its WebLogic E-Business Platform, he said.

BEA is also bucking the layoffs trend sweeping the industry. The company continued "aggressively" expanding its sales and research staff during the quarter, Coleman said.

Shares in BEA (BEAS) ended trading Tuesday on the Nasdaq exchange up 3.2 percent, at $34.04, before the company's earnings announcement.

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