Citing war-related travel restrictions and related concerns, an analyst has reduced first- and second-quarter license revenue estimates on all eight of the enterprise software companies he covers.
Analyst Patrick Walravens of JMP Securities cut license revenue by 5% for the current quarter and 2.5% for the next quarter, in a note published the morning after the start of the war on Iraq. "We think close rates will drop due to uncertainty associated with the war, the price of oil and the economy, and restrictions on corporate travel," he wrote.
The affected companies:
Software sales may be slowed as some businesses lock down spending until the outcome of the war is clearer; other deals, particularly those due to close in the critical last weeks of the quarter, could be pushed back as salespeople postpone travel that's needed to close, Walravens said.
similar concerns were voiced by W.R. Hambrecht analyst Richard Peterson. "Every day of disruption in the final two weeks of the quarter potentially impacts 3% of the quarterly revenue," he wrote in a note to clients. "A mere three days of disrupted business activity related to the start of war in Iraq could potentially cost a software company 10% of its revenue (and earnings) for the quarter."
Missed revenue targets could prompt investors to pummel software stocks, sending them down to October lows (or worse), or the market could give them a "get out of jail free" card, on the assumption that lost business will be regained in the next quarter.
So far today, most of the stocks followed by Walravens have gotten a pass. Chordiand and i2 were each down a few cents, while the others were up as much as 5%. More broadly, the Goldman Sachs Software Index, which has jumped 10.2% since March 11 in a prewar rally, was up 1.5% in recent trading today.