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BEA Shows Solid Growth

License sales revenue for middleware and other BEA products rose 18% from last year's fourth quarter.

BEA Systems reported fourth-quarter revenue of $341.4 million on Thursday, up 17 percent over last year's fourth quarter. For the full fiscal year, ended Jan. 31, BEA's revenue was $1.2 billion, up 11 percent from the previous year.

Acquisitions like the company's October purchase of portal software maker Plumtree helped fuel growth. All of BEA's product lines and geographies hit their sales targets, CEO Alfred Chuang said during a conference call with analysts Thursday night.

Channel sales have been strong, Chuang said, though he declined to provide any numbers to back up his claim that BEA is gaining traction in the channel against rivals Oracle and IBM.

"What we're seeing is VARs selling our products instead of our competitors'. Right now, it really is looking very, very good, mostly because they see our product as very easy to install and VAR-friendly," Chuang said. "Our product sells itself."

BEA reported a fourth-quarter GAAP net income of $35.4 million, down from $41.6 million a year ago, a change the company attributed to one-time tax charges. Excluding acquisition costs, facilities consolidation charges and other special items, BEA reported net income of $48.7 million, an 8 percent increase from its year-ago net income. Non-GAAP EPS was 12 cents, in line with the consensus forecast from Thomson Financial.

BEA's license sales revenue rose 18 percent from last year's fourth quarter, to $155.9 million. Chuang forecast another double-digital license revenue increase in BEA's first fiscal quarter of 2007, now ongoing.

Shares of BEA rose four percent in Thursday trading on the Nasdaq exchange, to close at $10.87. They rose a further 1 percent in afterhours trading, following the company's earnings announcement.

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