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Tech Industry

Earnings Roundup: PeopleSoft, BMC post upside surprises

    PeopleSoft topped analysts' estimates in its first quarter Tuesday, earning $11 million, or 4 cents a share, on sales of $375.4 million.

    A survey of analysts by First Call Corp. expected the software developer to earn 2 cents a share in the quarter.

    Ahead of the earning report, PeopleSoft shares closed up 1 to 14 13/16.

    In the year-ago quarter, it earned $7.9 million, or 3 cents a share, on sales of $350.1 million.

    "Our momentum in the marketplace continued to build into 2000 with very strong Q1 financial results," said CEO Craig Conway in a prepared release.

    Licensing revenue jumped to $90.2 million in the quarter. Services revenue improved a modest 4 percent to $262.1 million and international sales improved 17 percent to $83.2 million.

    PeopleSoft shares moved up to a 52-week high of 27 3/4 in January after falling to a low of 12 5/8 in May.

    Sixteen of the 20 analysts following the stock maintain either a "hold" or "sell" recommendation on the stock.

    Analysts expect it to earn 23 cents a share in the fiscal year.

    Among other technology companies reporting earnings Tuesday:

  • Quantum Corp.'s Hard Disk Drive Group (NYSE: HDD) posted strong earnings in its fourth quarter, earning $17 million, or 20 cents a share, on sales of $902 million.

    Analysts were expecting a profit of 4 cents a share in the quarter.

    Ahead of the earnings report, the disk-drive manufacturer's stock closed up 7/8 to 11 1/4.

    In the year-ago quarter, Quantum HDD lost $1.1 million, or 1 cent a share, on sales of $918.6 million.

    "Our improved performance was the result of two key factors," said CEO John Gannon in a prepared release. "One was our operational execution within the business, including the continued strong market acceptance of our Fireball platform for the desktop and our Atlas platform for servers and workstations. The second was a better than expected desktop pricing environment. As a result, gross margins were 14.7 percent, the highest they have been in several years."

    In the quarter, the company shipped 8.6 million disk drives.

  • eGain Communications Corp. (Nasdaq: EGAN) also topped Street estimates in its third quarter, posting a loss of $12.2 million, or 43 cents a share, on record sales of $3.3 million.

    First Call Corp. consensus expected it to lose 45 cents a share in the quarter.

    eGain shares finished up 3 1/16 to 18 1/16 ahead of the earnings report.

    In the year-ago quarter, it lost $9.1 million, or 34 cents a share, on sales of $253,000.

    Analysts expect it to lose $1.84 a share in the fiscal year.

  • Scientific-Atlanta Inc. (NYSE: SFA) easily beat the Street in its third quarter Tuesday, raking in $38.1 million, or 23 cents a share, on sales of $440.7 million.

    Analysts were expecting a profit of 20 cents a share in the quarter.

    Scientific-Atlanta, which makes digital set-top boxes, closed off 1/2 to 57 1/2 ahead of the earnings report.

    In the year-ago quarter, it earned $20.8 million, or 13 cents a share, on sales of $320 million.

    "Our financial performance reflects substantial strength across virtually all of our businesses," said CEO James McDonald in a prepared release.

  • BMC Software Inc. (Nasdaq: BMCS) slipped past analysts' estimates in its fourth quarter, earning $123.2 million, or 49 cents a share, on sales of $476.4 million.

    First Call Corp. consensus predicted the business software developer would earn 47 cents a share in the quarter.

    Including one-time charges and gains, it earned $98 million, or 39 cents a share, compared with $100.4 million, or 40 cents a share in the year-ago period.

    It also announced it will buy back $500 million stock on the open market from time to time, depending upon market conditions.

    Its shares closed up 2 7/8 to 40 13/16 ahead of the earnings report.>