Lawson Software Loss Doubles

The company also announces an SEC probe.
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Updated from 4:49 p.m. EST

Shares of

Lawson Software

(LWSN)

plunged after hours as the company announced that its second-quarter loss more than doubled and said the

Securities and Exchange Commission

has launched an investigation.

In recent after-hours trading, Lawson was off 62 cents, or 10.2%, to $5.48; the stock shed 50 cents during the day, a loss of 7.6%, to close at $6.10.

The company posted a loss of $3 million, or 3 cents a share, compared with a loss of $1.3 million, or a penny a share a year ago. Revenue in the November quarter was $83 million, down slightly from last year's $84.3 million.

Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting a loss of 2 cents on sales of $82.5 million.

License revenue, a key indicator of new business, dropped to $13.2 million compared with $17.3 million during the same period in 2004.

The company's guidance for the third, or February, quarter was on the light side of expectations. The company said it expects to earn a GAAP profit ranging from 1 cents to 3 cents a share on sales of $85 million to $90 million. Analysts were expecting a profit of 3 cents a share on sales of $90 million.

The company also announced Wednesday that the SEC is conducting an informal investigation concerning the company's revenue recognition practices. The company gave no details of the content of the investigation, but said it is cooperating and that its audit committee has recently completed its own investigation.