BMC, others issue earnings warnings

Citing unexpected purchasing delays by its customers, systems management software maker BMC Software said Monday that its revenue in the just-ended quarter was lower than anticipated.

Content management software vendor FileNet and integration software developer SeeBeyond Technology also warned Monday of shortfalls, contributing to the growing ranks of software companies turning in underwhelming preliminary results in the midst of a slow market. Siebel Systems said last week it too had missed its forecast, which it attributed both to purchasing delays and the turbulence of the enterprise software market.

BMC, in Houston, said its preliminary revenue for the quarter ended June 30 was in the US$305 million to $312 million range, below its earlier estimates of $320 million to $335 million in revenue.

Purchasing delays were concentrated among the company's largest accounts, according to BMC. Sixteen software licensing transactions in excess of $1 million were completed during the quarter, the first of BMC's 2004 fiscal year, versus 25 transactions of that size in the year-ago quarter, the company said.

Earnings per share on a pro forma basis were $0.01 to $0.04, below the company's previous guidance and below the $0.08 per share consensus estimate of analysts polled by Thomson First Call. The company's pro forma figures exclude acquisition-related amortization expenses for intangible assets; including those charges, the company said it had a per-share loss of $0.04 to $0.01.

FileNet, in Costa Mesa, California, also cited delayed large transactions to explain its missed estimates. Revenue for the quarter was $85 million, the company said. It had previously forecast revenue of $90 million. Earnings per share were $0.01 to $0.03, lower than FileNet's earlier projections and the $0.05 consensus estimate of analysts logged by Thomson First Call.

Spending on integration technology did not pick up during the quarter, causing Monrovia, California-based SeeBeyond's revenue to come in below forecasts at $28 million to $29 million, the company said. SeeBeyond now estimates its per-share loss for the quarter at $0.15 to $0.16, excluding non-cash charges and restructuring costs of $6.6 million related to layoffs and facility consolidations. Including those costs, the per-share loss was $0.23 to $0.24.

BMC Software will report its final results for the quarter on July 28th. FileNet and SeeBeyond will report on July 23.