PeopleSoft misses lowered revenue forecast

PeopleSoft has fallen short of its reduced revenue targets in the second quarter.

PeopleSoft has fallen short of its reduced revenue targets in the second quarter.

The company blamed the results on the ongoing legal battle between the US Department of Justice and Oracle over its attempt to acquire PeopleSoft.

PeopleSoft had warned earlier this month that revenue would be lower than previously forecast. The company said it expected revenue of between $655m and $665m (£360m and £365m), but on Tuesday it released a financial report showing revenue of $647.3m for the quarter.

PeopleSoft's revenue rose significantly over its $497.4m total in last year's second quarter, but the results aren't directly comparable because PeopleSoft purchased JD Edwards in July 2003. Revenue from that purchase began contributing to PeopleSoft's bottom line in last year's third quarter.

PeopleSoft's net income fell 70%, from $36.5m in last year's second quarter to $11m this year, which ended on 30 June. Excluding various charges related to the JD Edwards acquisition and costs associated with the Oracle takeover battle, PeopleSoft had a smaller net income drop, from $54m in last year's second quarter to $51m this year.

Nevertheless, chief executive officer Craig Conway praised the company's performance amid what he sees as Oracle's successful attempt to disturb PeopleSoft's business.

PeopleSoft has a long list of delayed and lost deals that it attributes directly to the uncertainty around Oracle's bid, Conway said - a list the company plans to use as evidence in its next courtroom showdown with Oracle - a lawsuit charging Oracle with libel and unfair competition that will commence later this year.

The media attention surrounding the DoJ/Oracle confrontation made closing deals nearly impossible in June, according to Conway and other executives.

The DoJ trial also prompted customers to negotiate smaller deals at sharper discounts, executives said, thanks to information made public during the trial.

"We had customers that were moving ahead armed with all of our discounting forms," Conway said. "They were in a position to command - or demand - higher levels of discounts."

PeopleSoft won't release guidance on its third-quarter sales expectations until after a decision is made on the DoJ/Oracle case. A ruling is expected within the next two months.

Stacey Cowley writes for IDG News Service

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