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Marimba tumbles despite decent 2Q numbers

Internet software developer Marimba Inc. (Nasdaq: MRBA) fell 3 11/16, or 10 percent, to 31 1/2 Wednesday, one day after meeting analysts' estimates in its second quarter.

In the quarter, Marimba lost $1.5 million, or 8 cents a share, on sales of $6.9 million.

First Call consensus pegged the Mountain View, Calif. company for a loss of 8 cents a share in the quarter.

The $6.9 million in sales was an 87 percent improvement compared to the year-ago quarter when it lost $1.2 million, or 13 cents a share, on sales of $3.7 million.

In the quarter software licensing sales grew to $4.9 million, up 56 percent from the $3.2 million it recorded in the year-ago period. Service revenue jumped 272 percent to $2 million versus $526,000 in the year-ago quarter.

Gross profit margins settled in around 88 percent, down slightly from 89 percent in the second quarter of 1998.

"Going forward, we will continue to execute our strategy of advancing our technological leadership in Internet-based software management solutions, targeting e-business customers and service providers, expanding worldwide sales and enhancing our professional services," said CEO Kim Polese in a prepared release.

Since its dazzling initial public offering in April, Marimba shares have been anything but predictable.

The stock zoomed up to an all-time high of 74 3/8 in May before tumbling to a low of 30 1/4 in June.

Four of the five analysts following the stock rate it either a "buy" or a "strong buy."

First Call consensus expects it to lose 23 cents a share in the fiscal year.