School software marker

Blackboard

(BBBB)

narrowed its second-quarter loss estimate Thursday, citing stronger-than-expected demand and the efficient integration of a recent acquisition.

Blackboard expects to lose $6.7 million to $7.1 million, or 23 cents to 24 cents a share, in the June quarter, while its adjusted loss should be 4 cents or 5 cents a share. Revenue will total $41.8 million to $42.8 million, the company said in a release.

On average, analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were expecting the company to lose 29 cents a share on sales of $41.41 million in the quarter.

For all of 2006, Blackboard expects to generate cash earnings of 15 cents to 19 cents a share on revenue of $173.1 million to $176.1 million. Analysts were forecasting a loss of 52 cents a share on sales of $171.6 million.

"Blackboard is benefiting from broad-based demand for its products and services," the company said. "In addition, driven largely by similarities in the respective businesses, the integration of WebCT is tracking ahead of schedule."

"We are seeing greater market demand for our products and services than previously contemplated, and as a consequence we are raising our second-quarter and full-year guidance for 2006," Blackboard said.

The stock closed at $24.32 Thursday.