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Business intelligence software maker Cognos beat Wall Street's expectations and turned in bright news on both the sales and earnings sides in its 2006 first fiscal quarter.
Revenue surged 15 percent to $200.1 million, compared with sales of $173.6 million in the same period last year. License revenue rose 8 percent to $71.1 million in the quarter. Earnings came in at $23.8 million, 18 percent higher than the $20.1 million Cognos netted in the first quarter of fiscal 2004.
The earnings equate to 25 cents on a per-share basis, surpassing financial analysts' consensus estimate of 22 cents per share. Cognos' first fiscal quarter for 2006 ended on May 31.
The BI vendor and corporate performance management software maker attributed a large part of its growth to its flagship ReportNet tool, with license revenue jumping 25 percent for the product. The company's planning software saw a 24 percent increase in licensing dollars.
Cognos garnered 668 contracts of greater value than $50,000 in the quarter, and 104 deals worth more than $200,000. Both were substantial increases, percentage-wise, over the same period last year. The Australian Department of Defense, DaimlerChrysler Services, Travelocity and the Arkansas Department of Education were among the company's wins in the quarter.
"The fundamentals of the business are strong," Cognos president and CEO Rob Ashe said in a prepared statement. "While revenue was below our expectation in the quarter, our performance in the key strategic areas of Cognos ReportNet and Enterprise Planning was solid, our sales pipeline is healthy, and our product offering is the strongest in the industry."
Unfavorable currency exchange rates and a failure to close certain large transactions diluted sales, Cognos said. The firm forecasts second-quarter sales of between $207 million to $215 million, roughly at or slightly below Street expectations of $213 million.