As concern grows over BEA, chief looks for new products

With slipping sales, BEA Chief Executive Alfred Chuang says the infrastructure software company is looking to a new set of products for license growth.

Looking for new areas of revenue, infrastructure software company BEA Systems intends to introduce a new set of products, according to the company's CEO.

BEA's second-quarter earnings, which the company reported on Thursday, exceeded analysts estimates but did not allay concerns about the company.

BEA Systems CEO Alfred Chuang BEA Systems
The infrastructure software company said its revenues were $365 million in the quarter but did not report earnings because of an ongoing review of its accounting. Services revenue was up, but its license revenue was down 9 percent.

Financial analysts said the consistent license revenue slide has raised concerns about the company's competitive position.

Credit Suisse analyst Jason Maynard on Friday issued a report reiterating his calls for a change of company management and ownership. BEA has been considered an acquisition target by larger software companies for the last few years.

"We are convinced the best path to maximizing shareholder value is through the sale of the business. We don't see anything in the product portfolio that gives us confidence that the company can break the pattern of no license growth over the past five years," Maynard said in his note.

Apart from acquisition by a larger company, BEA could also be bought by a private-equity firm, many of which have become increasingly interested in technology companies.

In an interview, BEA's Chuang said sales in the last quarter "stabilized," and the company is developing new products to help stimulate license revenue.

"We've been embarking on work to introduce a new set of products, mostly geared to building new applications," Chuang said.

He said products will be based on its existing Aqualogic technology and address companies building new applications through mashups. Most customers are using a services-oriented architecture, or SOA, to get data out of older mainframe applications, he said.

"The current SOA audience has what I call a high integration content. People want to assemble applications by getting data out of their legacy apps. (This new product) is more geared at building brand-new stuff," Chuang said.

Despite the company's investment in new technologies like enterprise mashups, Chuang said the company's primary competitor remains IBM in mainframe-related deals.

 

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