Siebel, Pivotal Report Financial Results

If you don't believe CRM is still the hot spot in the tech sector, look no further than the recent financial results from both Siebel Systems Inc. and Pivotal. PeopleSoft meanwhile is expected to post its quarterly results after the market closes on Thursday.

In what is going down as one of the worst years in technology's short history, Siebel reported a 14 percent hike in revenue to $2.05 billion for fiscal 2001, compared with $1.8 billion the year before. Net income for the year also increased to $254.6 million, or 49 cents a share, from $123.1 million, or 24 cents a share, for fiscal 2000.

These results were slightly better than the 46 cents a share Wall street was expecting the company to earn, according to First Call estimates.

Along the same growth lines, Siebel's fourth quarter revenue for the period ended Dec. 31, rose 12 percent to $481.4 million vs. $428.5 million in the third quarter. Licensing fees for the quarter rose to $250.2 million from $193.5 in the third quarter. Profits for the fourth quarter nearly doubled to $65.9 million, or 13 cents a share, from $35.2 million, or 7 cents a share, in the third quarter of 2001.

Siebel is pointing to the shipping of Siebel 7, the seventh major release of its e-business applications, as major reason for the growth spurts. The company also signed a slew of new customers standardizing on its e-business platform during the period including BMW Financial Services, Credit Suisse First Boston, Kyocera Wireless Corp., and others.

Proving the CRM market is not a one horse race, Pivotal also reported its financial results for its second quarter ended Dec. 31, unveiling significant progress for its operations. Total revenue for the quarter hit $16.5 million, up from $16 million in the previous quarter, but off from $25.7 million for its second quarter of fiscal 2001.

Pivotal's pro forma loss for the quarter was $7.4 million, or 31 cents a share. This a step in the direction from its first quarter when it lost $11.9 million, or 50 cents a share, on a pro forma basis. However, overall, Pivotal lost $63 million under generally accepted accounting principals for its second quarter and $22.6 million for its first quarter.

Despite the loss, Pivotal's financial results were better than most analysts' expectations. Wall street was expecting Pivotal to lose 8 cents a share, on a pro forma basis, for its second quarter, according to First Call.

During a conference call, Pivotal President and CEO Bo Manning said he is pleased with the strides the company has made in signing new customers and reducing Pivotal's cost structure. Pivotal signed 70 new customers in quarter including Mircrosoft Corp., Pfizer Health Solutions, Sapient Corp. and others. Plus 86 percent of Pivatol's existing customers made repeat purchases during the period.

During the quarter, Manning rolled out a new leadership team for Pivatol and a new marketing campaign.

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