webMethods'

(WEBM)

third-quarter loss widened on a contraction in both new-software and overall revenue, but the company said sales in the current quarter will match or surpass analyst estimates.

The Web-infrastructure software company lost $11.1 million, or 21 cents a share, on total revenue of $50.1 million in the latest quarter, compared with a loss of $739,000, or 1 cent a share, on revenue of $53.8 million last year. Pro forma to exclude stock-based compensation charges, restructuring costs, in-process research charges and other unpleasantries -- a format that is primarily useful because of its comparability to analyst estimates -- the company lost $4.2 million, or 8 cents a share, compared with income of $1.6 million, or 3 cents a share, last year.

Analysts were forecasting a pro forma loss of 8 cents a share on revenue of $47.3 million in most recent quarter.

For the current fourth quarter, webMethods expects per-share results ranging from a loss of 8 cents a share to break-even on revenue of $49 million to $54 million. Analysts were forecasting a pro forma loss of 4 cents a share on revenue of $49 million, according to Thomson First Call.

The shares were recently down 43 cents, or 3.8%, from their 4 p.m. EST close to $10.80.

Third-quarter license revenue fell to $25.0 million from $33.9 million a year ago, while professional services revenue rose to $11.2 million from $8.0 million and maintenance revenue rose to $13.9 million from $11.9 million.

On the balance sheet, webMethods said cash and marketable securities fell to $158.6 million from $192.2 million the previous quarter, while days of inventory outstanding fell 9 days to 69 days.