Ariba Beats Wall Street Estimates



Ariba Inc. gave analysts a pleasant surprise Tuesday with a lower-than-expected fourth-quarter loss on strong revenue growth, and finished its fiscal year ended Sept. 30 with $45.4 million in sales.

The provider of high-end, online procurement software and services posted a fourth-quarter operating loss of $4.6 million, or 12 cents per share, beating First Call's consensus estimates by 5 cents. The numbers were announced after the close of trading yesterday.

For the quarter, Ariba reported revenue of $17.1 million, up 266% from year- earlier levels. The year-earlier loss was $2.2 million, or 28 cents per share.

Chairman and CEO Keith Krach said Ariba will continue to drive its business by focusing on top-line growth and working with systems integrators to win big customer accounts. He said all 11 new customers announced in the fourth quarter were won in partnership with integrators such as Deloitte & Touche and Ernst & Young. "Size does matter," Krach said. "The total buying potential of our customer base is $140 billion a year, and that's really driving these purchasing networks."

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