LA QUINTA, Calif. -- One of Wall Street's truths: What's said isn't as important as who says it.
Those are words that
CEO Craig Conway would likely attest to. After highlighting
strong fourth-quarter results for the business software maker, he told the audience at the
Goldman Sachs Investment Symposium
here Monday that he was particularly proud of those numbers.
"This is the kind of presentation that as a CEO you want to come down here and give," Conway said. "You send the CFO if you've had different kind of results."
Conway was clearly relishing his role as a turnaround artist, a title he's become familiar with since joining PeopleSoft in 1999 when it was facing a dismal future.
"When I started with PeopleSoft, we were posting how much in earnings per share?" Conway asked rhetorically. "Oh, yeah, I remember. Zero."
For the fourth quarter, PeopleSoft bested the consensus estimate by earning 13 cents per share. Those results were due largely to the recent release of its new Internet-tailored
software package, which has been winning accolades among industry analysts.
Adding to the extremely
bullish comments made by Siebel CEO Tom Siebel to kick off the conference Monday morning, Conway also said that the perceived slowdown in technology spending hasn't yet affected his company.
"Our pipelines are higher than they've been in the history of the company," Conway said. "We're in larger and more numerous negotiations, and the reason is that Internet applications are one of the things companies can do to get an impact on their business in a very short amount of time in 2001."
Like Siebel's comments, though, Wall Street will be looking to hold Conway to his, and should the slowing economy suddenly cut into the demand for this kind of software, there will be hell to pay.
You'll know that's happening if CFO Kevin Parker starts taking to the podium at investment conferences.