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BEA Systems beats Street, splits stock

The business software maker posts a fourth-quarter profit of 9 cents a share as it announces several new software products to help businesses build e-commerce Web sites.

Business software maker BEA Systems posted a fourth-quarter profit of 9 cents a share today as the company announced several new software products to help businesses build e-commerce Web sites.

Excluding costs related to acquisitions, BEA made a profit of $17.2 million, or 9 cents a share, compared to last year's fourth-quarter earnings of $4 million, or 2 cents a share. A consensus of analysts had predicted earnings of 7 cents a share, according to First Call.

Including the one-time charges, the company suffered a loss of $13.7 million, or 8 cents a share, compared with a loss of $3.96 million, or 3 cents a share, during the same quarter last year. For the quarter ended Jan. 31, revenue jumped 82 percent, from $82 million to $149.2 million. BEA today also announced a two-for-one stock split.

During the company's annual user's conference today, BEA announced four new e-commerce software products, a market where the company competes with Microsoft, IBM, Sun-Netscape Alliance, Oracle and others.

BEA will ship in April a new product called BEA WebLogic Commerce Server 2.0, software that lets businesses quickly create e-commerce Web sites. It features a set of pre-built software code, written in the Java programming language, that helps software developers build Web sites that connect their customers, employees and partners together.

The technology stems from BEA's recent purchase of Java start-up Theory Center and will work with BEA's application server, software that acts like an operating system for e-commerce Web sites.

The company next quarter plans to release an update to its Tuxedo software, which processes transactions. The update--called Tuxedo version 7.1--will offer improved security and support Extensible Markup Language (XML), a Web standard that allows businesses to easily exchange data.

BEA today released a toolkit that lets software programmers quickly create adapters that link different software together, such as human resources and financial software. BEA executives said the company is also developing new software that allows businesses to create online marketplaces.