MicroStrategy Rides 'Intelligence' Wave
Software that can pluck useful information out of the ever-growing mountains of corporate data is moving to center stage. Currently, no provider of what insiders call "business intelligence" is hotter than MicroStrategy (MSTR).
A one-time basket case, MicroStrategy has outperformed its bigger rivals -- Cognos (COGN) and Business Objects (BOBJ) -- so far this year, appreciating by a solid 21%. Shares of the McLean Va.-based company, which traded as low as $35 last summer, rose 10 cents, or 0.2%, to $63.53 on Tuesday.
Late last month, MicroStrategy shares jumped 14% after the company reported fourth-quarter net income rose 74% to $17.5 million, or $1.02 per share, vs. a profit of $4.63 million, or 33 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue rose to $51.7 million from $41.97 million, well over the $45.5 million consensus of analysts polled by Thomson First Call.
Driving the growth is a combination of robust demand for so-called business intelligence products, and the company's greatly improved financial position.Once something of an afterthought, business intelligence sales by the six major public companies this year probably will total about $2.3 billion, compared with about $2 billion last year, according to analyst Rob Tholemeier of DRW Research. The total market is probably closer to $4 billion, and is shared by large companies like database giant Oracle (ORCL), which also sells business intelligence products, and 15 or 20 small players, he said.
|Off to a Strong Start
MicroStrategy rallies in 'business intelligence' software push
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