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Iona tops 2Q profit expectations

IONA Technologies (Nasdaq: IONA) reported first quarter earnings of 14 cents a share Wednesday, topping First Call's expectation of 10 cents a share. The company also announced two new deals to beef up its B2B offerings.

Shares in the Irish-based provider of e-business infrastructure were up 3 1/2 to 68 1/2, or 5 percent.

The company reported net income of $3.2 million, or 14 cents a share, in the first quarter of 2000, excluding amortization of purchased intangible assets and acquisition-related costs. The company's shares took off in November, after it reported better-than-expected earnings in its third quarter.

Revenue was $30.7 million, compared to $21.2 million in 1999's first quarter.

Highlights for the first quarter included product revenue growth of 59 percent, the company's acquisition of Watershed Technologies to enhance the functionality of its iPortal Server, enterprise deals with Nortel (NYSE: NT), Lehman Brothers, Lucent (NYSE: LU), Telstra (NYSE: TLS).

"I'm pleased to report that product revenue grew by 59 percent from the same quarter a year ago,'' said David James, IONA Technologies' chief financial officer in a release. "This reflects our ability to capitalize on the powerful trend towards e-business and enterprise portals."

Iona also announced Wednesday an alliance with Computer Sciences Corporation (NYSE: CSC) to deliver the technology and services that companies need to build B2B enterprise infrastructure. The deal formalizes a long-standing business relationship and include IONA products, training, professional services and co-marketing.

Iona also said it has inked a multi-million dollar licensing and deal with KnowledgeTrack Corp involving its iPortal Suite that that will allow the companies to exchange portal and application server technologies.

Iona's competitors include BEA Systems (Nasdaq: BEAS), Tibco Software (Nasdsdaq: TIBX) and Mercator (Nasdaq: MCTR).

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