Ariba joins list of profit warners

2 min read

Ariba became the second enterprise software vendor on Monday to warn of disappointing quarterly results and announce job cuts.

The vendor of software for business-to-business sales online also canceled its previously announced acquisition of Agile Software (Nasdaq: AGIL).

Ariba now sees a fiscal second-quarter loss of 20 cents per share, excluding non-cash charges, on revenue of $90 million. First Call consensus was predicting a profit of 5 cents per share on revenue of $180.3 million for Ariba's second quarter ended March 31.

The company's second-quarter revenue represents a 47 percent decline from fiscal first-quarter revenue of $170.2 million.

Shares of Ariba traded at $6.50 in after-hours activity on the Island ECN, immediately following the warning. Ariba fell $1.38 to $6.53 in Monday's regular trading ahead of the news.

Earlier Monday, i2 Technologies (Nasdaq: ITWO) announced lower earnings expectations. Other enterprise software companies, such as Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL), have recently reported lower-than-forecast earnings results.

Ariba plans to slash 700 jobs, or about a third of its work force, and take "significant" one-time write-offs for investments and real estate commitments. i2 also unveiled plans to cut about 10 percent of its employees.

Like its peers, Ariba blamed its shortfall on the U.S. economic slowdown.

"At the end of the quarter, we experienced a large unexpected drop-off in our sales closure," said Keith Krach, Ariba's chairman and CEO. "While many customers selected Ariba's technology, spending decisions at the executive level were postponed as customers evaluated their budgets in light of the prevailing economic uncertainty."

Vendors of software for corporations typically don't close most of their sales until the last few weeks of their fiscal quarters.

Ariba's stock swap acquisition of Agile has been canceled because of poor stock market conditions, the companies said. Since that deal was announced near the end of January, Ariba's stock price has fallen more than 80 percent.

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