Updated from 4:54 p.m. EDT JDA Software Group ( JDAS) cut its first-quarter loss by 75% and boosted revenue by 34%, the company said after the bell on Monday. After trading down for most of the regular session, JDA shares jumped about $1 in the last hour of the session to close up 59 cents, or 3.9%, to $15.74. In after-hours trading, JDA shares were recently down 59 cents, or 3.8%, to $15.15. The Scottsdale, Ariz., company beat Wall Street's pro forma profit expectations by 2 cents a share. JDA, which develops software for retailers, lost $437,000, or 2 cents a share, compared to a loss of $2.24 million, or 8 cents a share, in the first quarter of 2003, according to generally accepted accounting principles. Revenue in the March quarter was $55.2 million, up from $41.3 million a year ago. License revenue, a key metric for software vendors, rose 89% to $14.6 million from $7.7 million. Excluding charges for restructuring, an acquisition, the purchase of new headquarters and nonrecurring tax benefits, the company earned a profit of $3 million, or 7 cents a share. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting a 5-cent profit on sales of $52.91 million. JDA does not give explicit financial guidance, but CEO Hamish Brewer sounded upbeat on a call with analysts. "With a robust pipeline, a rebounding economy and numerous indicators suggesting increased IT information technology spending, I feel confident about JDA's prospects for 2004," he said. Brewer said the company is continuing to emphasize sales to its installed base, a strategy that pleased Piper Jaffray analyst Tad Piper. "With nearly 4,600 installed customers, we believe that JDA's continuing strategy of acquiring retail functionality and cross-selling into its existing customer base, as well as its continued focus on customer relationships, will provide growing revenue potential going forward," Piper said in a note.
Piper Jaffray does not have a current banking relationship with JDA. The company ended the quarter with $80.84 million in cash, equivalents and securities, down from $114.73 million in the previous period.