The revelation supports rival Oracle's claims that PeopleSoft's sales have declined more sharply than those of its other competitors. Oracle is pursuing a hostile $9.4 billion acquisition of PeopleSoft and now faces ato prove the proposed merger would not harm competition, as federal regulators have charged.
With last week's filing, PeopleSoft reported for the first time that itscontributed $114.9 million in license fees to its 2003 revenue. Previously, the company had from J.D. Edwards and the rest of its software business together, obscuring the financial picture of the separate units.
License fees at Oracle and SAP, PeopleSoft's two closest competitors, also declined in 2003,. SAP's license revenue declined 6 percent in 2003. Oracle, which ends its fiscal year on May 31, reported a 14 percent slide in application license fees in 2003. But in the six months of June through December, Oracle's by 11 percent.
In the enterprise software industry, license fees indicate how well a company's core products are selling, and they are regarded among Wall Street analysts as a key indicator of financial health.
PeopleSoft completed its purchase of J.D. Edwards on July 18. The acquisition helped the Pleasanton, Calif.-based company leapfrog Oracle to become the No. 2 business applications company in the world behind Germany's SAP.
PeopleSoft blames the drop in 2003 license revenue on disruptions caused by the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq last year and slack software spending by government agencies, a traditional stronghold for the company. PeopleSoft executive have alsofor falling sales, claiming that the hostile bid has scared away some potential customers.