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WebMethods handily beats earnings estimates

The software company reports a third-quarter net income of $2.7 million, or 5 cents per share, while analysts were expecting a penny a share.

WebMethods easily topped analyst estimates in the third quarter.

After market close Wednesday, the provider of software for connecting business applications, linking systems of buyers and suppliers, and establishing online business-to-business marketplaces reported a fiscal third-quarter net income of $2.7 million, or 5 cents per share, excluding special charges. A survey of 16 analysts produced a consensus forecast of a penny per share for WebMethods' December quarter, according to First Call.

Shares of WebMethods traded at $86 in after-hours activity on the Island ECN, immediately after the release of quarterly results. WebMethods fell $5.50, or about 6 percent, to $85.88 in Wednesday's regular trading ahead of the earnings report.

Third-quarter revenue increased 237 percent year over year to $59.4 million, surpassing First Call's consensus expectation of $51.29 million. License revenue rose 220 percent to $43.4 million.

"Strong revenue growth driven by increased penetration of both Global 2000 companies and major industry-backed exchanges were significant contributors to the company reaching profitability," Chief Executive Phillip Merrick said.

The company added 85 customers during the quarter, to finish December with a total of 550 clients.

Including amortization and acquisition-related charges, WebMethods in the third quarter lost $12.7 million, or 27 cents per share.