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Siebel soars past expectations on strong sales

The business software maker shatters analysts' estimates in its fourth quarter, posting a profit of $106 million, or 20 cents a share, on sales of $581.6 million.

Business software maker Siebel Systems shattered analysts' estimates in its fourth quarter Tuesday, posting a profit of $106 million, or 20 cents a share, on sales of $581.6 million.

Analysts polled by First Call expected the software developer to earn 15 cents a share in the quarter on sales of $536 million.

Siebel shares closed up 88 cents to $78.50 ahead of the earnings report.

The $581.6 million in sales represents a 111 percent surge from the year-ago quarter when it pocketed $39.2 million, or 8 cents a share, on sales of $275.9 million.

Strong sales of its customer relationship management software helped Siebel top even the most optimistic estimates for the quarter.

Last quarter, the company also blew past analysts' estimates, earning $71 million, or 14 cents a share, on sales of $480.9 million.