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BMC tops estimates

    UPDATE BMC Software became the latest technology company to scale back forecasts for the next fiscal year.

    In a Tuesday conference call with analysts, executives for the maker of software for mainframes and client-server systems said it now expects fiscal 2002 earnings of 90 to 93 cents. Analyst consensus was predicting $1.13 in earnings per share, according to earnings tracking firm First Call.

    Revenue for 2002 will increase 12 to 15 percent, CEO Bob Beauchamp said. That would mean annual revenue of $1.68 billion to $1.73 billion, based on BMC's fiscal 2001 revenue of $1.5 billion. First Call consensus was predicting 2002 revenue of $1.73 billion for BMC (NYSE: BMC).

    "We believe these are healthy and realistic revenue and EPS growth targets in light of the uncertain economic environment," Beauchamp told analysts.

    Shares of BMC were unchanged in after-hours activity on the Island ECN following the release of quarterly results. BMC rose 47 cents to $27.15 in Tuesday's regular trading ahead of the report.

    Look for first-quarter earnings of 11 to 14 cents, on revenue of $355 million to $365 million, Beauchamp said. Analysts had been calling for a first-quarter profit of 24 cents per share on revenue of $410.5 million.

    BMC reported fiscal fourth-quarter net income of $65.8 million, or 26 cents per share, excluding special charges. Analyst consensus predicted a profit of 24 cents per share. Earlier this month, BMC said it expected to report fourth-quarter earnings of 23 cents to 25 cents per share.

    Fourth-quarter revenue increased 10 percent sequentially to $422.8 million, at the high end of the company's forecast calling for $412 million to $422 million. First Call consensus predicted revenue of $416.1 million for BMC's fourth quarter ended March 31.

    Including goodwill, write-downs and one-time charges, BMC earned $23 million, or 9 cents per share in the fourth quarter.

    License revenue increased 13 percent from the third quarter, with client-server systems rising 26 percent and mainframes gaining 4 percent. Maintenance revenue rose 1 percent sequentially. Services revenue rose 20 percent over the same period.>