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SAP raises third-quarter revenue outlook

The business software maker says revenues will be higher than expected, in part because of strong U.S. sales, and deals slipping into the quarter from the previous period.

Business software maker SAP announced on Wednesday that its third-quarter revenues will come in higher than expected, in part because of strong U.S. sales and deals slipping into the quarter from the previous period.

SAP expects revenues to reach $1.95 billion, compared with analysts' expectations of $1.8 billion.

The revised revenue forecast sent shares of SAP up $3.89, or about 11.5 percent, to $37.61 in morning trading. But it does little to show that the enterprise applications market as a whole is on the road to recovery, given recent mixed signals from competitors PeopleSoft, Oracle and Siebel Systems.

SAP is still reviewing how the revised forecast will affect its financial results for the year. Analysts are expecting SAP to report annual revenues of $7.79 billion, according to First Call. SAP did not revise its earnings estimate for the quarter. The company is scheduled to report earnings Oct. 16.

PeopleSoft earlier this week raised its third-quarter earnings estimates for the second time in two months, citing the benefits of its recently completed J.D. Edwards acquisition.

But Oracle disappointed analysts with its first-quarter results--even though the software titan matched Wall Street's estimates and posted an earnings improvement. Oracle, which is in the midst of a hostile takeover bid for PeopleSoft, noted that its revenues were affected by a 7 percent decline in new license sales. Wall Street looks to such sales as a gauge of future company growth.

Siebel also recently disappointed, issuing a third-quarter warning. The company said revenues would miss analyst estimates when it reports formal results Oct. 15.