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Business Objects Beats Estimates

Quarterly profit edges higher.

Fourth-quarter profit at Business Objects (BOBJ) edged higher, beating Wall Street's estimates, as the company offered a bullish outlook for its new fiscal year.

The business software maker said Tuesday that net income for the quarter ended Dec. 31 rose to $35.5 million, or 37 cents a share, from $34.9 million, or 37 cents a share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, Business Objects said it earned 60 cents a share, surpassing Thomson Financial's consensus analyst estimate of 56 cents a share.

Revenue rose 22% to $370.6 million, above the Wall Street estimate of $353.3 million.

License revenue rose 16% (10% in constant currencies) to $180 million, the company said. However, license revenue for core business intelligence software, including reporting, query and analysis applications, fell 4% in the fourth quarter to $127 million.

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Looking ahead to its first quarter now under way, Business Objects said it expects to earn 14 cents to 18 cents a share on revenue of $328 million to $334 million.

Excluding items, the company projects first-quarter earnings of 35 cents to 39 cents a share.

Thomson Financial had expected the company to earn 39 cents a share in the first quarter on revenue of $320.3 million.

For the full fiscal 2007 year, Business Objects expects to earn $1.02 to $1.14 a share on revenue of $1.41 billion to $1.44 billion.

Excluding items, the company expects to earn $1.90 to $2.02 a share. Thomson Financial was expecting the company to earn $1.85 a share before items on revenue of $1.37 billion.

Shares of Business Objects were recently up 11 cents to $38.99 in after-hours trading.