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BEA Systems tops 3Q estimates, sets stock split

BEA Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BEAS) scampered past analysts' estimates in its third quarter Tuesday, earning $14.4 million, or 12 cents a share, on sales of $126.5 million. It also set a 2-for-1 split.

First Call consensus expected the maker of software for integrating and overseeing corporate applications to earn 10 cents a share in the quarter.

Its shares closed up 1 3/8 to 72 1/2 ahead of the earnings report.

The $126.5 million in sales represents a 56 percent improvement compared to the year-ago quarter when it raked in $7.9 million, or 7 cents a share, on sales of $80.9 million.

"In the third quarter, WebLogic grew to 40 percent of our license revenue and Internet-related projects increased to 54 percent of license revenue, indicating strong demand for e-commerce systems that deliver as promised, every minute of every day," said CEO Bill Coleman in a prepared release. "And that's consistent with what industry analysts have been saying -- that e-commerce and other strategic initiatives are replacing Y2K as the top budget priorities for corporate IT spending next year."

Company officials said the stock split will be effected in the form of a stock dividend for all shareholders of record on Nov. 19. It will begin trading on a split-adjusted basis on Dec. 20.

Last quarter, BEA topped Street estimates, earning $6 million, or 7 cents a share, on sales of $103.2 million.

The stock surged to an all-time high of 79 11/16 earlier this month after trading at 8 11/16 in December.

Nine of the 11 analysts following the stock maintain either a "buy" or "strong buy" recommendation.