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webMethods beats 3Q forecasts

    webMethods (Nasdaq: WEBM) easily topped analyst estimates in the third quarter.

    After market close Wednesday, the vendor of software for connecting business applications, linking systems of buyers and suppliers and establishing online business-to-business marketplaces reported 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 earnings tracking firm First Call.

    Shares of webMethods traded at 86 in afterhours activity on the Island ECN, immediately following the release of quarterly results. webMethods fell $5.50 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," said Phillip Merrick, chairman and CEO of webMethods.

    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.

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