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Lawson Software's Net Plummets

The company saw its fourth-quarter income slashed after it took an impairment charge.

SAN FRANCISCO - Lawson Software's (LWSN) bottom line plunged in the fourth quarter, and the company guided below the Street's estimates for 2009.

Revenue at the St. Paul, Minn. software developer grew 9.4% to $233 million, from $212.9 million for the same quarter of last year. Analysts were expecting a top line of $229 million, according to Thomson Reuters.

Net income plummeted 55% to $3.7 million, or 2 cents a share, from $8.1 million, or 4 cents a share, in the year-ago period. The company again took an impairment charge -- of $6.1 million -- to reduce the value of auction-rate securities that have since been sold. The company took similar charges in the prior two quarters.

Excluding special items, EPS was 10 cents, in line with analysts' estimates.

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Total deferred revenue grew 19% year over year to $312.6 million.

For the first quarter, the company expects revenue of $195 million to $200 million and EPS, excluding items, of 6 cents or 7 cents. Analysts were looking for $205.2 million and EPS of 8 cents.

For fiscal 2009, Lawson projected a top line ranging between $920 million and $925 million and EPS, less items, of 43 cents to 47 cents. The consensus estimate of analysts was for revenue of $922.3 million and EPS of 51 cents.

Lawson's industry-specific business software competes with applications from

Oracle

(ORCL) - Get Report

,

SAP

(SAP) - Get Report

and others.

Shares in Lawson fell in after-hours trading to $6.99, down 18 cents, or 2.51%.