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SOA Vendor BEA Keeps Earnings a Secret

Stock Option Investigation May Affect Results

Tech companies during the height of the dot-com boom would routinely report "pro forma" earnings that had little or no bearing with the reality of generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). Although GAAP can be among the driest of subjects to discuss in detail, it serves as a consistent framework from which investors in public companies can make informed choices. The dot-com era financial juggling was usually done to obscure the fact that many companies were losing money by the barrel.

Tech companies have recently begun this practice again, apparently because they simply don't accept the generally accepted principles. Now BEA has come along and decided not to report either GAAP or non-GAAP numbers in its most recent financial statement, due to its "previously announced voluntary internal review of BEA's historical stock option grants, (the outcome of which) will require (BEA) to change (its) accounting treatment of certain stock option grants, which will have a material adverse effect (on results)."

Oh-oh.

The company recently reported first quarter total revenues of $345.8 million, up 7% from last year's first quarter, but noted that license fees were down 13 percent, to $114.6 million. Cash flow was down 7 percent (to $95 million), adding a bit to its balance of cash (and equivalents) of $1.3 billion.  

BEA chairman Alfred Chuang said the first quarter was "a tough selling environment in the Americas, and we made several changes to the Americas field organization." He said he believes the company is "aligned the organization correctly for the SOA opportunity...SOA is an architecture-led sale, and requires a different sales process than development-led projects. There is a platform shift taking place, and BEA is well-poised to lead that shift. We are aligning our field organization with the requirements of the SOA market."

With SOA market leader IBM putting in a big new push for SOA business, will this be enough?

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WLDJ News Desk 05/21/07 06:34:49 PM EDT

BEA reported first quarter total revenues of $345.8 million, up 7% from last year's first quarter. BEA is not providing full GAAP or non-GAAP financials for the first quarter due to the previously announced voluntary internal review of BEA's historical stock option grants, which has been conducted by the Audit Committee of BEA's Board of Directors with the assistance of independent legal counsel.

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