Updated from 4:31 p.m. EDT

Lawson Software


boosted fourth-quarter revenue by 10% year over year and beat Wall Street's earnings expectations by 2 cents, the company reported after the closing bell Thursday.

In recent after-hours trading, shares were off a penny to $6.90; Lawson closed the regular trading day with a gain of 20 cents, or 3%, to $6.91.

In the May quarter, the St. Paul, Minn.-based company posted pro forma earnings of $5.9 million, or 6 cents a diluted share, on sales of $99.7 million. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial were expecting a profit of 4 cents a share on revenue of $95.3 million.

According to generally accepted accounting principles, the company earned net income of $3.5 million, or 3 cents per diluted share.

License revenue increased by 3.4% to $27.2 million compared with the same quarter last year but was up 19% for the full fiscal year. Total software revenue (license fees plus maintenance fees) was up 10% in the quarter and 5.5% for the year.

Days sales outstanding declined sequentially to 64 from 59.

Looking to the first fiscal quarter of 2005, the company told investors to expect pro form EPS of 2 cents to 3 cents on sales ranging from $91 million to $93 million. Analysts were expecting earnings of 3 cents a share and revenue of $91.4 million.

Lawson, which sells software to automate business applications in the retail and health care industries, could become a takeover target for


(ORCL) - Get Report

when it concludes its lengthy and troubled pursuit of



, according to

internal Oracle documents released as part of the government's antitrust case against the massive database company.

Lawson CEO Jay Coughlan said in a call with analysts that consolidation of the software industry is creating "buzz" among customers, but he did not directly address the possibility of a takeover.