Siebel Warns of Revenue Shortfall

CRM software developer reports that first-quarter revenues will end up in the range of $330 million to $335 million.

Siebel Systems Inc. issued preliminary first-quarter earnings on Friday, warning that revenues will be lower than anticipated earlier this year, as several large deals failed to close by the end of the quarter.

The market-leading CRM (customer relationship management) software developer reported that first-quarter revenues will end up in the range of $330 million to $335 million, with license revenues around $112 million.

The average estimate of Wall Street analysts polled by research firm Thomson First Call was for revenues of $368.9 million for the San Mateo, Calif., company. Siebels own estimates in January had put license revenues in the $130 million to $150 million range for the first quarter.

Siebel posted revenues of $477.8 million in the first quarter of 2002, including license revenues of $246 million.

Earnings will be in the $3 million to $5 million range, which will at least signal a return to profitability for the company, which posted losses in the last two quarters, due mainly to restructuring charges.

Siebel still managed to increase its cash position by $60 million to $2.22 billion. CEO Tom Siebel described the company in a statement as "financially rock solid."

"We continue to be optimistic about the medium- and long-term potential for Siebel Systems," said Tom Siebel. "We continue to demonstrate clear product, customer and CRM market leadership. We are well positioned to differentially benefit as the economy recovers."

Several other software companies posted earnings warnings last week, including Siebel rival PeopleSoft Inc., which expects total revenues in the $450 million to $455 million range and license revenues between $80 million and $85 million. Earnings are projected at 11 to 12 cents a share.

Thomson First Calls consensus estimate was for revenues of $483.6 million and earnings of $14 cents a share.

Not all earnings news was bad during the week though. Cognos Inc. reported fiscal fourth-quarter revenues up from $142.8 million to $163.7 million year-to-year. License revenues for the period ended Feb. 28 increased from $75.4 million to $79.6 million, and net income soared from $10.1 million to $29.6 million.

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