BEA Systems Shares Tumble

Investors are unimpressed with license growth.
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Updated from Nov. 15

Shares of

BEA Systems

(BEAS)

plunged Thursday after the company's third-quarter revenue report couldn't meet high expectations built into the stock's year-long run.

The stock was recently off $2.18, or nearly 14%, to $13.51.

BEA said late Wednesday that revenue for the quarter rose 19% to $347.7 million. It didn't report net income because it is currently in the midst of a voluntary examination of its policies regarding employee stock options.

Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting a slightly better performance on the top line: $348.7 million.

License fees were $136.4 million -- an increase of 12%, although the company didn't break out organic growth. Friedman Billings estimated on Thursday that organic license revenue growth was closer to mid-single digits.

Services revenue was up 24%

Several brokerages downgraded the shares, citing moderating license growth and the continued overhang of the company's options investigation.

After lagging for some time, BEA shares ahd perked up this year, posting several solid quarters in a row. Since the beginning of the year, the stock has gained 65%. Part of the reason: New product offerings have helped the company position itself as a leading provider of infrastructure to enable service oriented architecture, this year's hottest IT trend.