BEA Systems delivers in 1Q

2 min read

BEA Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BEAS) reported better-than-expected sales and earnings for the second-consecutive quarter Tuesday, earning $5.8 million, or 5 cents a share, on sales of $85.6 million.

First Call consensus expected the developer of middleware software to earn 2 cents a share in the quarter.

BEA Systems shares closed up 1/2 to 18 3/8 ahead of the earnings report.

The $85.6 million in sales represents a 46 percent jump compared to the year-ago when it earned $3 million, or 3 cents a share, on sales of $58.5 million.

In the fourth quarter, BEA blew away analysts' estimates, pocketing $3.9 million, or 5 cents a share, on sales of $82 million.

BEA has made a remarkable recovery from the dark days of early November when it warned that Y2K spending and economic strife abroad would decimate earnings in future quarters.

For now, it appears those problems are in the past.

"Since the warning we issued in November, we have now had two quarters of strong bookings," said CEO Bill Coleman in a prepared release. "During these two quarters, our backlog and pipeline conversion rates improved, reflecting the overall stronger economic conditions around the world and growing demand for our products. To date, we have seen no negative effect on our pipeline from Y2K concerns."

Prior to that ominous warning, BEA shares were trading at a 52-week high of 27 7/8 before rapidly falling to a low of 8 11/16 in December.

Nine of the 10 analysts following the stock maintain either a "buy" or "strong buy" recommendation.

First Call consensus expects the San Jose, Calif. company to earn 30 cents a share in the fiscal year.