PeopleSoft Financial Results Mixed

Software company beats its own projections, but still reports a loss for the third quarter.

PeopleSoft Inc. had a mixed bag of results in its third-quarter earnings announcement this morning.

The enterprise software developer reported total revenue of $624 million, which beat its earlier hints that sales would be $575 million to $590 million. License revenues were reported at $160 million, exceeding preliminary guidance of $135 million to $150 million.

PeopleSoft, however, reported a loss of $7.3 million, or 2 cents per share, on a GAAP basis. That did best earlier forecasts by the company of losses between 9 cents and 10 cents per share for the quarter.

PeopleSoft is feeling the pinch from its $1.8 billion acquisition of J.D. Edwards & Co. in August. PeopleSoft earned $44.6 million, or 14 cents a share, in the same third quarter of 2002. The company is also hounded by a hostile takeover bid from rival Oracle Corp., of Redwood Shores, Calif., which recently extended its tender offer to Dec. 31.


Despite Oracles dogged persistence, PeopleSoft, of Pleasanton, Calif., remains optimistic.

"Our financial results speak for themselves," said Craig Conway, president and CEO of PeopleSoft, in a statement. "What you see in our financial performance is just the beginning of the benefits of the combination of PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards."

Customer wins for the quarter include Aerospace Testing Alliance, Cargill Inc., Dolby Laboratories Inc., Kaiser Permanente, Merck & Co Inc., Phizer Inc., Siemens AG, SmithKlineBeecham and Wells Fargo & Co., among others.

PeopleSoft is set to face its next hurdle with Oracle when the Alameda County (Calif.) Court considers a motion to seal records and a demurrer (technically a motion to dismiss) to PeopleSofts amended complaint. PeopleSoft filed suit against Oracle this summer, alleging unfair business practices.

Oracle, for its part, filed suit against PeopleSoft in Delaware to get PeopleSoft to remove its poison pill stipulation, a corporate bylaw that would make a hostile takeover very expensive.

Both companies are awaiting the results of a Department of Justice investigation into possible antitrust issues. A Justice spokeswoman said the case is ongoing.