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Lawson Software Beats Estimates

Revenue rises 16%.

Updated from 4:38 p.m. EDT


Lawson Software


beat Wall Street's first-quarter earnings estimates Thursday.

The St. Paul, Minn., software company said it had revenue of $187.4 million, up 16% over the same quarter of the prior year, when revenue was $161.8 million.

Analysts had been expecting a top line of $186.1 million, according to Thomson Financial.

EPS was 3 cents on net income of $5.6 million, vs. a loss of 8 cents a share and $15.8 million in the year-ago period.

Excluding items, EPS was 7 cents. Analysts were expecting EPS of 5 cents.

The business application software developer said second-quarter revenue would range from $200 million to $205 million. Excluding items, EPS is projected to be 6 to 8 cents. Analysts were expecting revenue of $205.6 million and EPS of 8 cents.

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Shares of Lawson were off 42 cents, or 4.1%, to $9.89.

The company said 29% more deals were signed year on year, but the average price per deal dropped by 21%, to $89,000.

The difference was prompted by the high demand for an infrastructure product released in the past year at a lower price point, President and CEO Harry Debes said in an interview. Lawson System Foundation includes several


(IBM) - Get Report

middleware components. The product experienced strong customer acceptance and yields high margins, he added.

What appeared to be weakness in the Americas during the quarter was the result of a motivated sales force that succeeded in closing so many deals early, in the prior quarter, Debes said. "Our fourth quarter

2007 ... exceeded expectations by a mile."

The deal pipeline is strong, Debes said, using the M3 Enterprise Management System product line as an example. Sales in the product's pipeline stood at $97 million in June 2007 vs. $10 million in June of 2006, Debes said.

Lawson is staffing up to support growth and has raised its offshore headcount to 15% of full-time employees or their equivalents, many of those at a newer facility in the Philippines, which houses some research, professional services and customer support. The site now employs about 450 people, with hiring there expected to double. A new service center in Lausanne, Switzerland has also been hiring.

Full-year guidance for revenue of $820 million to $830 million and EPS, excluding items, of 30 cents to 34 cents is unchanged.