Sybase hits $1 billion in revenue, but is it enough?

Sybase announces its year-end financial results and hits the $1 billion revenue mark for the first time. But is it enough to fend off a proxy fight with a disgruntled investor?

Sybase hit the $1 billion revenue mark in posting its year-end results Thursday--and we're not talking the number of hamburgers served, either.

But is meeting its milestone mark of $1 billion in revenues, along with soundly beating analysts' fourth quarter revenue and earnings forecasts, (as noted by The Street.com), enough to fight off a proxy battle with one of its largest shareholders, Sandell Asset Management.

Sandell wants Sybase to consider selling off its mobility business in an IPO, or even unloading all or part of the company via a sale. And to push the issue, Sandell wants to replace three of Sybase's nine directors, who will be up for re-election this year.

Although Sybase CEO John Chen declined to talk about Sandell or its proxy fight, he did note that Sybase's mobility business is a key growth driver for the company--not as an add-on business but rather something that's baked into its core.

Sybase's end game is to build an enterprise stack based on software to cater to corporate America's mobile workforce. It's looking to tie in mobile middleware and messaging into its core database business, while creating an enterprise mobile platform on top of which customers can put their mobile applications.

As a result, Sybase's plans are to be the software stack for enterprise mobility.

During the quarter that just closed, Sybase saw its mobile middleware business grow 22 percent year over year, and its messaging business climb 13 percent. Overall, the company's mobility business generated a total of about $91 million in the fourth quarter, representing less than a third of the $295.2 million it generated in the quarter.

Sybase is also looking to be the hunter--not just the hunted. Chen said don't be surprised to see the company make future acquisitions in the mobile commerce arena.

 

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