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Informix hands new CEO better-than-expected 2Q results

Strength around the world in the second quarter carried Informix Corp. (Nasdaq: IFMX) a couple of pennies past analyst expectations.

In second quarter results released after market close Monday, the database vendor reported pro forma net income of $17.5 million, or 9 cents a share. First Call's survey of eight analysts predicted a profit of 7 cents.

Second quarter sales increased to $206.8 million, up 19 percent from $174.2 million in the year earlier period, when Informix earned $11.3 million, or 7 cents a share. License revenue in the second quarter totaled $102.3 million, a 19 percent gain year-over-year. Service revenue increased 18 percent to $104.5 million. The company said it saw strength in all geographic regions.

North American sales totaled $99.6 million, an increase of 24 percent from the same period a year ago and the fourth consecutive quarter of year-over-year growth greater than 20 percent for the regiona. Revenue in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region increased 17 percent from a year ago to $67.0 million. Revenue in Asia/Pacific increased 11 percent to $23.6 million, while Latin America posted revenue of $16.6 million, up 10 percent from the second quarter of 1998.

"As Informix enters the next phase of growth, we are focusing our resources on the business intelligence market, the technology foundation for the Internet, as well as Web-based solutions that build on that foundation," said Jean-Yves Dexmier, newly promoted president and CEO of Informix. "As customers migrate their operations to the Web, these areas represent enormous opportunities. Informix, with its innovation capabilities in core database and data warehousing technologies, is well positioned to succeed in this developing market."

Informix took a $97 million charge in the second quarter, to settle shareholder lawsuits related to accounting irregularities. Including the charge, Informix lost $79.5 million, or 41 cents a share.

Shares of Informix fell 1/16 to 9 3/8 in Monday's trading prior to the earnings report. Of nine analysts surveyed by Zack's Investment Research, six maintain the equivalent of a "hold" rating on Informix, two recommend the stock as a "moderate buy", and one has a "moderate sell" rating.>