SAP AG surprised Wall Street analysts this morning with the announcement that it expects to beat the Streets fourth-quarter expectations.
The German software behemoth said it expects to record more than 1 billion euros ($888.2 million) in software license revenue for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2001.
The projected results surpass Wall Street expectations by almost 20 percent.
SAP also anticipates its 2001 full-year revenues to grow by more than 16 percent, with operating margins matching the 20 percent levels achieved in 2000.
Despite glowing forecasts, SAP officials said they expect the near-term sales environment to remain challenging, with customers continuing to invest cautiously in e-business software.
Revenue breakdown by product line was not disclosed, though market research firm AMR Research Inc. anticipates Europe will lead in sales for another year.
SAP, of Walldorf, Germany, will officially release fourth-quarter results Jan. 23.
On a related note, enterprise software and database developer Oracle Corp. is upbeat about 2002. Chief Financial Officer Jeff Henley on Tuesday said that the company was sticking by the guidance he issued in December.
During its second-quarter earnings call in mid-December, Oracles guidance called for flat year-over-year third-quarter earnings of 10 cents per share and fourth-quarter results that are 2 cents to 3 cents better than the 15-cent-per-share profit the Redwood Shores, Calif., company reported in the same timeframe last year.
At the same time, Oracle officials said they believed the companys business had bottomed in its recently completed second quarter.