Updated from 9:20 a.m. EDT The carnage in the software industry continued with four companies preannouncing weak second-quarter results in addition to the marquee warnings from both PeopleSoft ( PSFT) and Veritas ( VRTS). Quest Software ( QSFT), meanwhile, stood out as the only software vendor so far to preannounce upside to its quarterly results, with revenue reaching record levels. Shares of Quest were recently up 70 cents, or 6.3%, to $11.81, reversing a drop of $1.11, or 9.1%, suffered Tuesday. Meanwhile, shares of Ascential Software ( ASCL), Kana Software ( KANA), JDA Software ( JDAS) and FileNet ( FILE) continued their slide following their negative preannouncements after the bell Tuesday. Ascential shares were recently down $1.74, or 12.4%, to $12.28; shares of Kana were recently down 53 cents, or 25.1%, to $1.58; JDA recently dropped 99 cents, or 8.4%, to $10.86; and FileNet shares recently edged down $5.28, or 18.9%, to $22.65. Quest, whose software helps companies manage applications and databases, announced that total revenue in the quarter would range from $90 million to $91 million, representing a 27% increase from a year earlier. That's higher than the $88.5 million projected by analysts polled by Thomson First Call. The company said its earnings will reach the high end of previous guidance, which set targets of 4 cents to 6 cents a share on a GAAP basis and 7 cents to 9 cents a share excluding charges. The consensus estimate is 9 cents a share. Quest also announced that a judge would grant a preliminary injunction blocking the company from selling a product at the center of a suit filed by rival Computer Associates International ( CA). The company said that will not have a material impact on results unless the company determines it should take a special one-time charge related to the litigation. FileNet, the largest of the group of software disappointers Tuesday, said second-quarter revenue will range from $93 million to $95 million, including software revenue ranging from $32 million to $33 million. Although still up 7% from a year ago, those results fall short of the $100.1 million expected by analysts. FileNet, which makes enterprise content management software, expects earnings under generally accepted accounting principles to range from 3 cents to 5 cents a share. Analysts were expecting earnings of 11 cents a share excluding charges. FileNet said customers unexpectedly delayed a significant number of purchasing decisions in the quarter -- an excuse repeated in press releases by other software makers.
Earlier in the day, Ascential, whose products help companies integrate data, warned that it expects second-quarter revenue to range from $63.5 million to $64.5 million, with license revenue ranging from $24 million to $25 million. Analysts were expecting revenue of $66.2 million, while license estimates hovered around $27 million to $30 million. The company expects net income to range between 2 cents and 3 cents a share under generally accepted accounting principles, and between 4 cents and 5 cents a share on a pro forma basis. The pro forma earnings result was about half of the 10 cents a share forecast by analysts. Looking ahead, Ascential said it expects third-quarter results to be flat sequentially. Analysts were forecasting earnings of 10 cents a share on $66.5 million in revenue in the third quarter. In a press statement, Ascential CEO Peter Gyenes said enterprise spending continues to be "cautious and highly disciplined," which caused some deals to close later than expected or not at all. In the third quarter, Ascential could be hurt by a move by IBM ( IBM) to eliminate commissions to its software sales representatives who resell Ascential software. Ascential's preannouncement followed a
more shocking warning from larger software player Veritas Tuesday, and PeopleSoft's bad-publicity-related preannouncement Wednesday morning. Meanwhile, JDA Software, which makes software for the retail industry, projected that second-quarter revenue would total approximately $54 million, with license revenue at $14 million. The company expects GAAP net income of 1 cent to 2 cents a share and net income excluding charges to be 3 cents to 4 cents a share. Analysts were expecting JDA to earn 8 cents a share on $57 million in revenue in the second quarter. JDA said it failed to seal certain deals it expected to close in the Americas region during the quarter and also cited weak international operations. The Asia-Pacific region was the only area to see an increase in sales compared to a year ago, the company reported. Meanwhile, small-cap Kana Software, the maker of customer relationship management software, also said second-quarter results would come in low, echoing Ascential's claims of cautious spending that prompted customers to delay purchases. Kana said revenue would range from $10.5 million and $11.5 million, including $1 million to $1.8 million in license revenue. Kana expects to post a GAAP loss of 16 cents to 20 cents a share. Analysts were expecting $14.7 million in revenue and a loss of 7 cents a share.