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April 22, 2004

PeopleSoft disarmed by Oracle, reports Q1

PeopleSoft executives admitted Oracle's continuing takeover battle for the company remains a distraction as they unveiled first quarter earnings that fell short of expectations yesterday.

By CBR Staff Writer

The vendor turned in sales of $643.1m for the quarter ending March 31, up 39.7% on the year. Operating income was $32.9m, down 36.4% on the year, while net income was down 37% to $24.2m. License revenues were $130.9m, compared to $80.8m last year.

This resulted in earnings per share of $0.07. Once charges, including restructuring, were excluded, earnings were $0.18, a penny less than expected.

President and CEO Craig Conway said the figures were as expected. Some major deals had slipped into the second quarter, or couldn’t be shipped before the end of the quarter, he said, and if the company had been able to book these revenues, license revenues would have been pumped up accordingly.

At the same time, he said, the company had not expected having to continue fighting Oracle’s hostile takeover bid into the first quarter. So far it has had to spend $55m on fighting the bid, a figure that is excluded from its pro forma earnings figures.

Conway said that succeeding in the software market needed complete focus, but with management also having to fend off Oracle, We still don’t have full use of both arms.

Following shareholders’ rejection of an Oracle-backed slate of directors, and with the objecting to the deal, he said, the company was beginning to regain the use of both its upper limbs.

Conway said that as well as distracting management the takeover battle left some customers uneasy about closing deals. Once the takeover issue is resolved, he said, the firm expected a release of the dam of pent-up or deferred deals.

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For the second quarter, the firm expects pro forma earnings to be in the $0.20 to $0.22 per share range. That figure does not include charges, including the continued fight against Oracle. The analyst consensus is currently for $0.22 per share.

This article is based on material originally published by ComputerWire

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