Updated from 5:20 p.m. EDT

Agile Software

(AGIL)

, which announced a 15% cut in staff when it preannounced disappointing earnings earlier this month, said Thursday that fourth-quarter license revenue declined 68% from a year ago as manufacturing and high-tech companies continued to keep an "unprecedented" rein on spending.

San Jose-based Agile, which makes manufacturing and supply-chain software, gave very limited first-quarter guidance, warning Wall Street not to expect revenue to grow sequentially.

Agile reported a net loss of $18.7 million, or 39 cents a share for the fourth quarter, which ended April 30. That compares with a net loss of $83.7 million, or $1.80 a share, in the same period a year earlier.

Excluding charges, Agile reported a pro forma net loss of $11.6 million, or 24 cents a share, compared with a net loss of $2.3 million, or 5 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Fourth-quarter revenue totaled $15.2 million, down 16% from $18 million in the third quarter and down 42% from $26 million in the same period a year ago.

Fourth-quarter license revenue fell to $6.2 million from $19.2 million in the same period a year ago.

Analysts, which lowered their estimates after the company's May 1 preannouncement, were expecting Agile to record a 24-cent pro forma loss on $14.9 million in revenue, according to Thomson Financial/First Call.

For the full fiscal year ending April 30, Agile reported a net loss of $34.5 million on $77.8 million in revenue, compared with a net loss of $125.3 million on $87.1 million in revenue a year earlier. Excluding charges, the company registered a pro forma net loss of $26.6 million, or 56 cents a share, compared with a pro forma net loss of $4 million, or 9 cents a share, a year earlier.

That was in line with the reduced consensus estimate that pegged the company's full-year pro forma net loss at 56 cents a share on $77.3 million in revenue, according to Thomson Financial/First Call.

Agile also missed estimates in the previous quarter, and the slump shows no signs of improving. In its preannouncement, the company blamed the disappointing results on weak demand for products and said it would cut its workforce by 15% to help reduce expenses.

"Many of our customers are concentrated in the especially hard-hit manufacturing and high tech sectors, and they haven't seen an economic recovery," said CEO and Chairman Bryan D. Stolle in a statement Thursday. "Their response has been to hunker down in an unprecedented fashion and use a just-don't-spend approach to manage their businesses."

On a postclose conference call, Stolle said new business was "very sparse," making up roughly one-quarter of business versus three-quarters from existing customers. Newly named Agile CFO Carolyn Aver said the low level of revenue derived from new revenue is a clear indication that companies are starting initiatives in a small way.

Aver said the company has reduced its expenses to the point where it should be able to break even when quarterly revenue reaches $25 million.

But Aver said the only guidance the company currently can provide is to say that it sees no reason to expect sequentially better revenue performance in the first quarter. She noted that's in line with Wall Street estimates pegging revenue at $14 million to $15 million. EARNINGS The First Call/Thompson Financial estimate is for the company to post a pro forma net loss of 18 cents a share in the first quarter.

Aver declined to give full-year guidance. In its last earnings call in February, the company said it was comfortable with the consensus estimate at that time showing revenue ranging between $105 million and $115 million. Wall Street estimates call for Agile to report a pro forma loss of 50 cents a share for fiscal year 2003 on $66.5 million in revenue.

Shares of Agile rose 26 cents, or 3.2%, to close at $8.37. After its announcement, Agile shares dropped slightly to $8.30 in after-hours trading.