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Portal Software


posted fourth-quarter earnings Wednesday that beat analysts' estimates.

The company, which makes customer service and billing software, reported earnings of $6.4 million, or 4 cents a share. In the year-ago quarter, the company earned $369,000 and broke even. Fifteen analysts surveyed by

First Call/Thomson Financial

arrived at a consensus estimate of 3 cents a share.

Portal's revenue exploded in the fourth quarter to $81.1 million, up from $39 million in the fourth quarter of 2000.

The company, which is based in Cupertino, Calif.,

announced licensing agreements Tuesday with


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France Telecom


Similar agreements are what gave Portal its fiscal boost, said John Little, chairman and chief executive. "We were able to get brand new customers, and go back to old customers, like France Telecom, and get new business from them," he said in an interview.

The company, which has several international clients, is not worried about an economic downturn in the United States, Little added. "You always pay attention to what's going on in your macroeconomic area. But fortunately, we are dominantly targeting those parts of the industry that are still spending money."

During regular-session trading on the


, Portal lost 19 cents, or 1.9%, to close at $9.75. In after-hours trading on


, the company recently gained 37 cents to $10.12.