CRM pain coming up...

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While siren voices might predict that the worst of the recession is over, that hasn’t stopped three leading software firms warning the market that they are about to disappoint investors. BroadVision, Epiphany and Onyx Software have all warned that first-quarter revenue and earnings will fall short.

BroadVision was worst. Not only will it not meet estimates for the first quarter, it’s having to redo its sums for the third and fourth quarters of last year. The company expects first-quarter revenue in the range of $29 million to $32 million rather than the $35.6 million expected by Wall Street.

After restating third-quarter earnings, the company's revenue decreased $3.5 million from $51.2 million to $47.7 million, and its loss per share increased from $1.54 to $1.55. Revised fourth-quarter revenues increased to $48.2 million from $48 million originally reported, and loss per share decreased from 20 cents to 19 cents.

The reason for the miscalculation, according to the company, is related to revenue from a software licensing agreement the company recognized in entirety in the third quarter. The company recently decided that revenue should be recognised over the four-year life of the deal instead.

Epiphany now expects first-quarter revenues of $22 million and a net loss, excluding certain charges, of 20 cents per share or less rather than Wall Street expectations of revenue of $28.3 million and loss per share of 14 cents.

Epiphany blamed the shortfall on one customer, with whom it had signed its largest deal ever last quarter but which is now thinking again about the overall CRM strategy. As a result, Epiphany is not recognising any of the anticipated revenue from the deal.

Finally Onyx Software expects first-quarter revenue of $14 million, compared with estimates of $17 million. The company said that the results are "temporary in nature."

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