BEA Systems Rises on Strong Q3

BEA Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: BEAS) was up 1 15/16 at 72 7/8 early Wednesday after the e-business software maker beat analysts’ earnings estimates for the third quarter.

BEA said revenue for the quarter rose 77 percent from a year earlier to US$224 million, as license fees rose 23 percent. Pro forma operating income rose to $38.6 million, or 7 cents per share, from $14.4 million, or 3 cents. Analysts had expected operating income of 6 cents per share.

Chairman and chief executive officer Bill Coleman said the “adoption by thousands of customers and more than 100,000 developers” is driving the company’s success. “As one industry after another tips to e-business, and as systems integrators and application developers choose their partners, our license revenue growth has accelerated and our lead increases,” he said.

During the quarter, the company signed agreements with Aetna, Ameritrade, AOL/Time Warner, Cisco Systems and Visa, among others, and expanded existing relationships with such vendors as Ariba, Open Market and Genuity. Financial services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers is in the process of integrating BEA’s systems into its own offerings.

Reports said company executives, in a conference call with analysts, said earnings and revenue this year and next will be higher than previously thought.

Lehman Brothers reportedly repeated a buy recommendation on BEA shares after the quarterly report, saying the stock could reach 95 in a year.

BEA shares have enjoyed a good run this year, reaching a 52-week high of 89 1/2 last month. A year ago, the shares traded below 17.

BEA Systems, based in San Jose, California, makes the WebLogic e-business platform. The company has 89 offices in 30 countries.

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