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PeopleSoft Swings to Loss on Acquisition Expenses

October 24, 2003|From Associated Press

Business software maker PeopleSoft Inc. on Thursday posted a net loss for the third quarter but still beat expectations, and management boosted its projections for the current quarter, raising the hurdles facing rival Oracle Corp.'s hostile takeover bid.

The Pleasanton, Calif., company posted a loss of $7.3 million, or 2 cents a share, in the quarter, contrasted with a profit of $44.6 million, or 14 cents, a year earlier.

The latest results included accounting adjustments related to PeopleSoft's $2-billion acquisition of J.D. Edwards & Co., which was completed during the quarter.

If not for the one-time adjustments, PeopleSoft said it would have earned $62 million, or 17 cents a share. That was well above the consensus estimate of 11 cents a share among analysts polled by Thomson First Call.

PeopleSoft told analysts that the benefits of the J.D. Edwards deal would become more apparent in the current quarter, resulting in earnings of 18 cents or 19 cents a share, excluding one-time accounting charges. The consensus analyst estimate had been 16 cents.

PeopleSoft Chief Executive Craig Conway reiterated his belief that Oracle had lost the takeover battle.

"Most customers feel the saga is over, and they don't hold it in a particularly positive light," Conway said.

PeopleSoft shares fell 41 cents to $20.40 on Nasdaq -- still above Oracle's takeover bid of $19.50 a share.

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