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Vignette to meet analysts&#039&#039 targets

E-business software maker Vignette said Monday it would meet estimates for the first quarter, courtesy of cost cutting moves made in January.

Shares in the maker of content management software were up 36 cents, or 9 percent, to $4.24 in early trading. Vignette's software helps companies with content management, customer sales channel integration, and online marketing.

In January, Vignette (Nasdaq:VIGN) plunged on a weak first-quarter outlook. The company also announced layoffs and a broad restructuring plan to cut costs.

Thanks to those measures, management said the company will been able to meet estimates for the first quarter. "We saw the downturn early and we proactively addressed it," said CEO Greg Peters on a conference call with analysts.

Vignette expects revenue of about $90 million, slightly more than the First Call consensus estimate of $82.98, but less than the $100 million it had forecast for itself in January. Analysts had lowered projections for Vignette following profit warnings from other e-business software firms.

The company said it sees a loss of a penny per share excluding one-time charges, in line with the company's earlier projections and a penny better than First Call's estimate for a loss of 2 cents a share.

One-time charges in the first quarter include a restructuring charge of $49 million and an investment writedown of $37.8 million.

Peters refused to give Vignette's fiscal 2001 projections, or answer questions on the conference call about whether the company would push back its break-even date--the second quarter. Peters said he will give those numbers in an April 25 conference call.

But he remained bullish that the economic slump is actually helping Vignette in the long run. "We have more customers and revenue than any of our competitors," Peters said. This is an "opportunity to gain market share and further distance ourselves."

Vignette's competitors include Interwoven (Nasdaq: IWOV), Documentum (Nasdaq: DCTM), which have also been suffering amidst the downturn.