BMC Software

(BMCS)

raised its third-quarter earnings forecast, and the company's shares surged sharply in after-hours trading.

The Houston-based company said it expects third-quarter earnings of 20 cents to 22 cents a share, excluding charges and the amortization of goodwill and intangible assets, but including a gain of 2 cents. According to

First Call/Thomson Financial

, 21 analysts produced a consensus estimate of 16 cents a share for the company's third quarter, compared with 41 cents a share in the same period last year.

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BMC also said it sees third-quarter revenue of $375 million to $380 million. Nine analysts are expecting third-quarter revenue of $359.1 million, compared with $426.3 million in 1999. The company expects to report third-quarter results after the market closes on Jan. 18.

Shares of BMC closed Wednesday's

Nasdaq

regular trading session at $15.63, and rose in after-hours

Island

activity to $20.94.