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PeopleSoft cruises past 4Q estimates

PeopleSoft easily topped analysts’ estimates for the second consecutive quarter Tuesday, pocketing $41 million, or 13 cents a share, on sales of $498 million.

First Call Corp. consensus expected the software developer to earn 9 cents a share on sales of $498 million in its fourth quarter.

PeopleSoft (Nasdaq: PSFT) shares closed off 50 cents to $48.94 ahead of the earnings report before moving up to $51 in after-hours trading.

The $498 million in sales represents a 34 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter when it earned $11 million, or 4 cents a share, on sales of $372 million.

“Our fourth-quarter financial results not only show the strong market demand for our eBusiness applications,” said Chief Executive Officer Craig Conway in a prepared release, “they also demonstrate PeopleSoft's focus on growth and profit for our shareholders.”

Company executives credited strong demand for PeopleSoft 8, the company's e-business application suite, for the strong fourth-quarter results.

Licensing sales shot up 73 percent to $165 million, up from $95 million in the year-ago period.

Last quarter, PeopleSoft beat the Street when it made $234 million, or 8 cents a share, on sales of $443.1 million.

The stock moved as high as $53.88 earlier this month after falling to a 52-week low of $12 in March.

Ten of the 15 analysts tracking the stock maintain either a “buy” or “strong buy” recommendation.