Siebels Q4Earnings: Up and Down

Siebel exceeds expectations for the quarter, but year-to-year revenues were down again.

Siebel Systems Inc. exceeded its fourth quarter revenue targets, but the late sales infusion wasnt enough to prevent the CRM software leaders tenth straight quarter of declining revenues on a year-to-year basis.

The San Mateo, Calif.-based company reported total revenues of $366.7 million, up from reported revenue expectations of no higher than $355 million announced Oct. 15, but still down from $394.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2002.

Software license revenue fell from $157.4 million to $150.3 million year-to-year. The bottom line was much improved for Siebel though, as the company turned a $41.5 million profit after losing $38 million in the same period last year.

"We saw significant improvement in the IT [spending] environment," said Siebel Systems chairman and CEO Tom Siebel. "The company reported solid results across the board."

Siebel Systems booked 42 transactions of over $1 million in the quarter, five of which were over $5 million.

For the calendar year of 2003, Siebels revenues fell to $1.4 million from $1.6 million in 2002. Before its revenue decline began, Siebel booked more than $2 million in annual revenues.

Tom Siebel is guardedly optimistic about a better year in 2004.

"We believe now well continue to see improvement but only time will tell," he said. "Well believe that after we see it."

Siebels revenues from its new CRM OnDemand hosted service were not material for the quarter, according to Chief Financial Officer Ken Goldman.