Ariba cuts loss, but fails to impress Wall Street

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While attention is focused on the parlous prospects of Commerce One now that it has fallen out with its German sugar daddy SAP, rival Ariba slipped out its first quarter 2002 results – and managed to show a smaller loss than it did at this time last year.

The company reported a net loss of $161.3 million, or 63 cents a share, compared to a net loss of $347.6 million, or $1.48 a share a year ago. The company's revenues fell from $55.3 million this past quarter from $170.2 million a year ago.

"In light of the continued soft global economic environment, I am pleased with the solid results for the quarter," Bob Calderoni, chief executive of Ariba, said in a statement. Calderoni said strong sales of the company's procurement software will position Ariba to break even, excluding special charges and other items, as early as June.

E procurement remains Ariba's hot spot. Last quarter the Ariba Buyer procurement engine brought in around 85 per cent of the company's revenue, with only 10-15 percent coming from Ariba Enterprise Sourcing. But going forward, the company expects the sourcing product to make up 40 per cent.

But Wall Street was unimpressed by the numbers with the share price falling 13 per cent on concerns future sales might be a drag. Goldman Sachs commented that it was worried that Ariba had hit its numbers by drawing down on deferred revenue and that as such its numbers should actually have been better than they were.

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