Spring Is Good To Makers Of Data-Management Apps - InformationWeek

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4/22/2004
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Spring Is Good To Makers Of Data-Management Apps

And vendors are upbeat about the current quarter. Hyperion expects revenue of $167 million to $171 million.

It's been a good quarter for suppliers of data-management and business-intelligence software. This week, Ascential, Hyperion, and Informatica reported healthy gains in sales and earnings for the quarter ended March 31.

Hyperion reported revenue of $166.1 million for its fiscal third quarter, ended March 31, up 31% over the same period a year earlier, and a 54% gain in net income to $12.7 million, or 32 cents per share. License revenue, a key growth indicator, rose 29%, to $65.1 million. Some of the revenue gain was due to Hyperion's acquisition of business-intelligence software vendor Brio Software Inc. last fall.

Hyperion sells a broad line of business-intelligence, business-performance-management, and financial-planning software. CEO Jeff Rodek attributes much of the sales growth to customers who are focusing on their own growth, not just cutting costs. For example, companies are involving more line-of-business managers in financial planning, and Rodek says that's spurring sales of financial-planning applications.

Revenue at data-integration software vendor Ascential Software surged 74% year over year, to $61.4 million, in its first quarter. Net income was $2.4 million, or 4 cents per share, compared with a $500,000 loss (1 cents per share) last year. License revenue was up 28%, to $24.6 million. Part of the company's growth came through its acquisition of Mercator Software Inc. last fall.

But much of the growth was spurred by demand for Ascential's data-integration software which president Peter Fiore says is increasingly being used for more strategic uses among Ascential's customers, says president Peter Fiore. "The whole data-integration market is heating up," he says. Nevertheless, Fiore describes the IT-spending environment in the March quarter as "very cautious."

Ascential competitor Informatica Corp. reported Tuesday that its first-quarter sales increased 12% year over year, to $54.2 million. That included a 9% increase in license revenue, to $24.9 million. Net income nearly doubled, to $1.9 million (2 cents per share), from $1 million (1 cent per share).

The quarter was a bit tougher for database and mobile-computing software vendor Sybase Inc., which reported that revenue inched up less than 1%, to $183.2 million, in its first quarter. Net income was nearly flat at $13.2 million, or 13 cents per share, and the vendor's license revenue was down nearly 5%, to $57.9 million, continuing a long trend. On the positive side, sales of mobile and wireless software grew 12%, according to the company.

Vendors are upbeat about the current quarter. Hyperion, for example, expects revenue of $167 million to $171 million with earnings of 29 cents to 34 cents per share. Ascential expects second-quarter revenue between $65 million and $68 million.

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