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BMC Software wilts on 2Q results, downgrades

BMC Software shares fell $1.31, or 7 percent, to $17.13 Wednesday after a pair of analysts downgraded the stock following its lackluster second-quarter earnings report.

On Tuesday, BMC (Nasdaq: BMCS) posted a second-quarter profit of $27.9 million, or 11 cents a share, on sales of $323 million.

First Call Corp. consensus expected the software developer to earn 11 cents a share in the quarter.

However, the $323 million in sales marked a 22 percent decline from the year-ago period when it pocketed $110.4 million, or 44 cents a share, on sales of $415.7 million.

On Wednesday, ABN AMRO cut the stock from a "buy" recommendation to "outperform" while CIBC World Markets slashed it from a "buy" to a "hold" rating.

Including a variety of one-time charges, BMC lost $12.5 million, or 5 cents a share, in the quarter.

"The second quarter of our fiscal 2001 presented us with challenges similar to those that we experienced during the first quarter," said CEO Max Watson in a prepared release. "We continue to see a reluctance among customers to commit to large enterprise license transactions as the mainframe market remains soft."

BMC shares rallied up to a 52-week high of $86.63 in January before falling to a low of $13 earlier this month.

Fifteen of the 26 analysts following the stock rate it a "hold."