Tech Industry

Business app firms on the mend

Several smaller enterprise resource planning companies make strides this quarter, recovering from last year's losses.

Several smaller enterprise resource planning companies made strides this quarter, recovering from last year's losses.

Fourth Shift, Ross Systems, and Symix Systems provide software to midmarket manufacturing corporations.

Atlanta-based Ross Systems reported second quarter earnings, excluding a one-time charge, of 2 cents per share, compared to a loss of 7 cents a year ago. The company's net income increased $1.7 million to $370,000, from a loss of $1.3 million in the second quarter of the previous year.

Meanwhile, Columbus-based Symix posted income of $2.3 million, or 32 cents per share, compared to a loss of 79 cents per share, or $4.9 million, for the quarter a year ago. The company posted a six-month increase of 44 cents a share, compared to a 72-cents-per-share loss for the same period in 1997, which the company attributed to a $6.5 million pretax charge from the acquisition of Pritsker.

Net income posted by Minneapolis-based Fourth Shift increased $1.6 million for the quarter, up from a net loss of $3.4 million for the same quarter last year. The company reported 16 cents per share in earnings for the fourth quarter, up from a 35 cents per share loss for the same quarter in 1997. Results surpassed Wall Street expectations for the company to earn 9 cents a share in the fourth quarter, according to a First Call estimate.

Additionally, supply chain management company i2 Technologies reported another record quarter last week. The company posted fourth quarter earnings of 11 cents per share and net income of $8.7 million, compared to 2 cents per share and net income of $1.3 million in the fourth quarter of 1997. The Irving, Texas-based company also reported that license revenue grew 68 percent compared to the same quarter last year.