Siebel's Q1 income plummets

Siebel Systems posted a sharp drop in revenue and income for its just-ended first quarter, during which its software licensing revenue reached less than half its year-ago total.

Siebel's revenue for the quarter, ended March 31, was $332.8 million, down 25.7% from last year's first quarter. Net income skidded 93%, from $64.6 million last year to $4.6 million during the recent quarter.

With per-share earnings of $0.01, Siebel met the consensus forecast of analysts polled by Thomson First Call. Most analysts had lowered their estimates after Siebel warned earlier in the month that its income and revenue would be lower than expected.

Professional services revenue helped stabilize Siebel's results, dropping only slightly, from $231.8 million last year to $220.7 million in this year's first quarter. But Siebel's first-quarter software licensing revenue fell 54%, from $246 million last year to $112.1 million.

In its earlier warning, the company blamed "an environment of continued global economic deterioration." A number of customers postponed purchasing decisions beyond the end of the quarter, the company said.

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