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Vignette beats estimates as sales soar

Vignette Corp. (Nasdaq: VIGN) easily hurdled Wall Street estimates Tuesday with a fourth quarter operating loss of $2.7 million, or a nickel a share, on sales of $40.9 million.

First Call expected a loss of 8 cents a share.

Including charges and other one-time items, Vignette lost $5.6 million, or 10 cents a share. Vignette's results were stellar compared to a year ago. In the fourth quarter a year ago, Vignette reported an operating loss of $7.6 million, or 20 cents a share, on sales of $6.7 million.

Vignette, which makes software the many Web sites use to manage content, has been on a roll. The company, which recently issued a stock split and was among the top tech stocks of 1999, said sales were up 512 percent from a year ago.

In the quarter, Vignette added 125 new customers, bringing its total to 518. New customers included Salomon Smith Barney, Credit Suisse, Dain Rauscher Wessels, United Airlines, ICQ Inc. among others. Vignette also said existing companies boosted orders. The company has also been challenging BroadVision (Nasdaq: BVSN) and others with an aggressive acquisition strategy.

"1999 was a phenomenal year for Vignette and placed the Company as the fastest growing enterprise software company ever," said Greg Peters, CEO, in a statement.

For the year, sales were $89.2 million, up 450 percent from $16.2 million in 1998. Net loss for the year was $42.5 million compared to a net loss of $26.2 million in 1998.