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NEON sees strong 1Q

New Era of Networks, Inc. (Nasdaq: NEON) said the future was bright for its first quarter Friday; the company expects revenue and earnings to surpass expectations.

Shares in the provider of e-business integration software closed at 39 Thursday. The stock also got a boost when the company preannounced strong results in its fourth quarter.

The company said revenue would be between $40 million and $41 million for the quarter ended March 31, based on a preliminary analysis of its results, and said earnings would be above expectations, but didn't specify by how much.

First Call's consensus estimate of 8 analysts predicts the company will pull in 2 cents a share for its first quarter. Earnings are slated for release on April 20.

The company said the strength of its growth came from its Web technology for e-Business, and that the majority of its activity is now in deploying e-business platforms

The company said the expansion of several deals have been key factors in its growth. NEON has a deal with Commerce One (Nasdaq: CMRC) through which it will jointly offer the Commerce One Direct Material Portal Connector, a platform that provides portal connectivity between enterprise supply-chain systems and MarketSite portals within the Commerce One Global Trading Web

In the first quarter, NEON and IBM (NYSE: IBM) also announced extended platform coverage to serve more customers, and said they continue to work on future releases of their joint product.

NEON also said its e-Biz 2000 product, launched in conjunction with Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) Windows 2000 has recorded sales exceeding expectation.

NEON's competitors include BEA Systems (Nasdaq: BEAS) and Inrpise (Nasdaq: INPR).

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