PeopleSoft reported earnings of $28.7 million, or 23 cents per share, for the quarter ended September 30, compared with earnings of $13.2 million, or 11 cents per share, for the same quarter last year. It beat First Call's consensus of analysts' estimates, which had the company pegged at 20 cents per share.
The company's revenues held strong at $217.1 million, compared with revenues of $117.4 million in the corresponding quarter the year before.
But according to PeopleSoft CFO Ron Codd, the lead the other two companies currently enjoy is narrowing. "I think we'll close the gap on Oracle by the end of the year," he said.
Analysts were not surprised by the strong showing from a company that has garnered praise for its strong management and product decisions.
Charles Phillips, an analyst with Morgan Stanley, cited strong demand for PeopleSoft's enterprise applications and efficient management as reasons for the company's long-term success.
"This is consistent with what they've been doing for the last five years," Phillips said. "They are one of the most consistent performers."
Codd was understandably excited by analysts' rosy predictions and the company's long-term financial success. "Over the last six years I haven't has time to catch my breath," Codd said. "There's an awful lot of opportunity in the applications market space that represents a very attractive growth potential for us."
Despite all the good news that came out of it, however, the quarter was a relatively uneventful one for the company. They began roll-out of the Java-enhanced upgrade of their application package, PeopleSoft 7, which will continue into the next quarter.
Phillips expects that PeopleSoft will focus more on expansion into the international markets during the next year, but anticipates no major upheavals. He did caution, however, that PeopleSoft's performance is only as consistent as the software industry, which is not known for stability.
"Software companies can only be so stable," he said, "It's still a competitive business."