Software giant


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posted higher first-quarter earnings Thursday that benefited from market share gains against U.S. rivals like


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The German company earned $330.2 million, or $1.07 a share, in the quarter, compared with $297.7 million, or 96 cents a share, last year. The company's American depositary shares represent four common shares, and at about 27 cents an ADS, the earnings were a penny ahead of estimates.

Revenue in the first quarter was $2.25 billion, up from $2.03 billion a year ago, reflecting a 17% jump in year-over-year software license revenue. Analysts had been forecasting revenue of $2.21 billion in the quarter.

In the U.S., software revenue soared 27% from a year ago to about $170 million. The gain would have been 35% in constant currencies.

"The continued strength of SAP's results is just another example of how far we have distanced ourselves from other software companies, and the gap continues to widen," SAP said. "Our winning position in the industry has been demonstrated by continually out performing our competitors and delivering double-digit growth rates in software revenues and quarter-to-quarter share gains."