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Two BI Companies, Two Very Different Earnings Reports

MicroStrategy's revenue and license sales both grew, but Actuate reported a bigger loss on declining sales.

Two business-intelligence software vendors reported very different first-quarter results Tuesday.

MicroStrategy Inc. said revenue and license sales both grew at a healthy clip, while net income was down from a year ago. Actuate Corp. reported a bigger loss year over year on declining sales for the period ended March 31.

MicroStrategy, which suffered through huge losses several years ago, reported license sales of $16.5 million and total revenue of $37.4 million for the quarter--up 14% and 5%, respectively, from the same period last year. Its profit, $665,000 (5 cents per share), however, was below the $3 million reported a year ago because of one-time charges for amortization expenses.

"Our focus on delivering a core business-intelligence platform is working," says Sanju Bansal, MicroStrategy's chief operating officer, in a dig at competitors' moves into new product areas such as data integration and financial planning. Growth is coming from customers who are adding more applications and users to their systems and new customers who need scalable business-intelligence software as they move from departmental to enterprise deployments, Bansal says.

MicroStrategy expects its second-quarter revenue to be $35 million to $39 million against anything from a loss of $300,000 to a profit of $1.2 million. For fiscal 2003, revenue is expected to be between $150 million and $160 million, with a profit of $11 million to $16 million.

For its first quarter, Actuate reported a loss of $622,000 (1 cent per share) on sales of $25.5 million. That compares with a loss of $249,000 (0 cents a share) on sales of $28.8 million a year ago. License fees declined 34% year over year, to $11.2 million. The vendor says revenue was up 3% in the United States despite the IT spending slump.

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