Siebel joins chorus of software earnings warnings

Citing purchasing delays, software vendors Siebel Systems Inc., webMethods Inc. and Documentum Inc. have issued warnings of lower-than-forecast revenue in their recently ended quarters.

The turbulence of the enterprise software landscape also contributed to weakened results, according to CRM (customer relationship management) software supplier Siebel. Its estimated total revenue for its second quarter in the US$330 million to US$334 million range, and licensing revenue at approximately US$110 million, below the forecasts previously offered by the company to financial analysts.

Earnings per share were US$0.02 during the quarter, ended June 30, which Siebel characterized as within the range previously projected. However, financial analysts were expecting better: The consensus estimate of analysts polled by Thomson First Call was for US$0.03 earnings per share.

Integration software maker webMethods said its revenue for the quarter was US$42 million to US$43 million, below its late April forecast of revenue in the US$45 million to US$50 million range. Unexpected weakness in webMethod's North American commercial sales contributed to the shortfall, the company said.

WebMethods' net loss for the quarter was US$0.13 to US$0.15 per share, under GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles). Excluding amortization of stock compensation and warrant charges, the company's pro forma net loss was US$0.13 to US$0.11 per share, a steep drop from its earlier forecast of a US$0.06 to US$0.02 pro forma net loss per share. The consensus analyst estimate recorded by Thomson First Call was for a US$0.01 pro forma per share loss.

Content management software maker Documentum said delays in government spending and trouble with its Northern Asia operations negatively affected its results. Revenue for the quarter was US$68 million, below its anticipated US$72 million to US$73 million.

Earnings per share were US$0.01 on a GAAP basis and US$0.07 on a pro forma basis, excluding charges for amortization of stock-based compensation and acquisition-related purchased intangibles. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call expected pro forma earnings of US$0.08 per share.

Siebel will release its full financial report for the quarter on July 22. WebMethods' release is scheduled for July 21, while Documentum is planning a July 17 announcement.

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