Sybase Finds Q3 Results Quite Positive

E-business infrastructure software provider saw its revenues and earnings fall, but still beat financial analysts' estimates.

E-business infrastructure software provider Sybase Inc. saw its revenues and earnings fall in the third quarter, compared with the same period a year ago, but still beat financial analysts estimates.

Sybase announced Tuesday that revenues for the quarter, which ended Sept. 30, came in at $226.3 million, compared with $239.1 million in the year-ago period. Its license revenue fell more precipitously, to $90.6 million, from $114.4 million in last years third quarter. An increase in services revenue made up part of the shortfall.

Worse still, the Emeryville, Calif., company took a $7.1 million net loss in the quarter compared with a $16.5 million net profit in the third quarter last year.

Yet Sybases pro-forma earnings—excluding one-time charges related to acquisitions, restructuring and other events—came in at $20 million, or 20 cents a share, exceeding financial analysts estimates by 2 cents a share.

Sybase Chief Financial Officer Pieter van der Vorst described the quarter as "quite positive" given the slowing economy, particularly in the software sector.

"Our top and bottom lines werent as high as we would like them to be if we were looking at it from the perspective of growing the business year-over-year, but given the circumstances, I feel good about what we accomplished," van der Vorst said.

Many of the restructuring and amortization charges Sybase dealt with in the quarter were related to its acquisition of New Era of Networks Inc., which closed in June, van der Vorst said.

He said there would likely be more restructuring and charges in the fourth quarter as the dust continues to settle from the integration of NEON into Sybase. Sybase absorbed 900 NEON employees in the acquisition. Restructuring during the quarter brought total headcount down from 5,347 to 4,960, he said. Jobs will continue to be reduced in the fourth quarter as the transition plays out, though van der Vorst said there would be no "across-the-board" reductions in Sybases work force.

Van der Vorst said Sybases three fastest-growing product areas that will be expected to drive revenues in the fourth quarter and beyond are portal software, retail banking software (Sybases Financial Fusion subsidiary), and mobile and wireless infrastructure and management software.