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Manugistics tops 4Q estimates

    Manugistics Group posted a smaller-than-expected loss in its fourth quarter Thursday, losing $1.1 million, or 4 cents a share, on sales of $43.7 million.

    First Call consensus expected the enterprise software vendor to lose 6 cents a share in the quarter.

    Manugistics (Nasdaq: MANU) shares closed off 1 1/8 to 56 1/2 ahead of the earnings report.

    In the quarter, it recorded licensing revenue of $22 million, up 45 percent from the year-ago quarter when it posted $15.2 million in sales.

    In the year-ago quarter, Manugistics lost $71.2 million, or $2.66 a share, on sales of $40.4 million.

    "As demonstrated by the results of our fourth quarter, the company is tracking ahead of the strategic plan that I established as the new chief executive officer in June 1999," said CEO Greg Owens in a prepared release. "We have completed the turnaround and are fully focused on our business-to-business growth strategy."

    Its shares moved up to a 52-week high of 61 3/4 earlier this month after falling to a low of 5 1/4 in April.

    Six of the 10 analysts following the stock maintain a "hold" recommendation.

    First Call consensus expects it to earn 17 cents a share in fiscal 2001.