Siebel Systems swings to quarterly net loss

Loss posting is related to software maker's acquisition-related charge. Earnings a year ago were aided by cost cutting.

Business software maker Siebel Systems on Wednesday posted a quarterly net loss, as it warned two weeks ago, after the company failed to complete a number of deals in the quarter and took an acquisition-related charge.

Siebel reported a net loss of $4 million, or 1 cent a share, in the first quarter, compared with a net profit of $31 million, or 6 cents a share, in the year-ago period, when earnings were aided by cost cutting.

Siebel took a $10.9 million charge related to its acquisition of Edocs, a maker of electronic billing and customer service software.

Total revenue was $298.9 million, compared with $329.3 million a year earlier. The company ousted its chief executive a week after it warned on April 5 that quarterly sales would be the lowest in about five years.

Shares of Siebel, based in San Mateo, Calif., slipped 10 cents in after-hours trading to $8.58.

Excluding items such as acquisition-related charges, the company reported a profit of 1 cent a share.

Analysts were expecting the company to break even and to report revenue of $298.3 million.

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