Lawson Software

(LWSN)

swung to a loss for its first quarter, but beat earnings estimates and exceeded expectations on the top line as well.

The St. Paul, Minn.-based business application firm said late Tuesday that it lost $15.8 million, or 8 cents a share, during the quarter, compared with net income of $4.2 million, or 4 cents a share in the year-ago quarter. The loss was due to consolidating costs and operating expenses from its April 2006 acquisition of Intentia, Lawson said.

Excluding certain items, Lawson earned $4.7 million, or 2 cents a share, falling from $8.1 million, or 8 cents a share, in the same quarter 2005. On that basis, the company beat Thomson First Call estimates by a penny.

Lawson reported GAAP sales of $161.8 million, rising from $87.9 million a year ago. The company credited the rise in revenue with its purchase of Intentia.

Taking into account $4.6 million in deferred maintenance and service revenue for the purchase accounting impact of the Intentia deal, non-GAAP revenue would have been $166.4 million, Lawson said. That figure exceeds the $163.2 million that Wall Street anticipated.

Looking ahead to the second quarter, Lawson expects revenue in the range of $172 million to $180 million. Non-GAAP revenue will range from $175 million to $183 million, bracketing analysts' projections of $178.2 million.

The company forecast EPS of break-even to a loss of 2 cents a share. Excluding certain items, EPS will range from 3 cents to 5 cents, meeting or exceeding Wall Street's estimate of 3 cents a share.

In recent after-hours trading, Lawson shares fell 3.4%, or 25 cents, to $7.03.

Harry Debes, Lawson president and chief executive officer, said in a statement that the company achieved its revenue and EPS expectations but that license fee contracting and revenue were subpar. In addition, "the integration of our international operations and the orientation of our sales and services employees had more impact than we anticipated but I am confident that this is now behind us."

Maintenance and consulting sales were solid and expenses were kept under control, Debes said, helping the company meet its bottom-line numbers.

Separately, the company said it named Robert Schriesheim, a current member of its board, as its new CFO, effective Oct. 11. Schriesheim will oversee corporate development, financial affairs, investor relations, IT and global administration.