MBS LOSSES WIDEN Microsoft blamed increased marketing and hiring within its channel organization as the losses for Microsoft Business Solutions reached $54 million for the third quarter ended March 31, up 4 percent from $52 million a year ago.
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Revenue for the accounting software unit rose to $185 million, up 3 percent from $179 million in last year's corresponding period. The increased hiring came in the Small & Medium Solutions Partner Group that was moved into MBS last fall. MSB expects 7 percent growth in revenue for the current quarter.
BEST REALIGNS ACCPAC
Best Software has decided to place its North American Accpac operations under the same group that is responsible for MAS 90/200/500 and Platinum for Windows.
The change was made because Susan Sheridan, appointed as Accpac's general manager a year ago, is not expected to return as she undergoes treatment for cancer. Accpac COO Donnat Lettman, who had postponed leaving the company, had handled those duties since Sheridan went on leave. Craig Downing has become vice president and general manager of the Accpac mid-market operations, reporting to vice president Himanshu Palsule.
EXACT NAMES CEO
Exact Software has named Rajesh Patel, most recently vice president and group director of Exact Software International, as its new chief executive officer.
Patel, who takes office on July 1, steps into a position that came open when former CEO Lucas Brentjens and CFO Bert Groenewegen resigned last fall. Founder Eduard Hagens had served as acting CEO.
SAGE INCOME RISES
Sage's North American operating profit rose by 28.2 percent on a 2.8 percent increase in revenue for the first half ended March 31, as the British parent of Best Software reported that North American operations had organic sales growth of 7 percent.
Those results came as world-wide revenue rose by 17 percent and earnings were up 18 percent. Accpac's operating margin rose to 27 percent, compared to 14 percent for fiscal 2004. The MAS line showed a 6 percent gain in organic growth. First-half revenue for North America was roughly $292.4 million while operating profit was about $70.2 million.
BLACKBAUD EARNINGS UP
Blackbaud, the Charleston, S.C.-based nonprofit software vendor, reported net income of $10.9 million for the first quarter ended March 31, up from just under $4 million a year earlier.
The sharp rise in the bottom line stemmed from a $7.7 million stock option expense credit. Revenue for the most recently completed period was $37.3 million, a 19 percent increase from $31.4 million a year earlier.
COUGAR HIRES COO
Cougar Mountain Software, an accounting software vendor based in Boise, Idaho, has named Jim Stone to the newly created position of chief operating officer.
Stone, who joined Cougar as director of marketing just over a year ago, previously worked at Oracle and Systems Union. The company has also added a subscription Web site, its Customer Service Center, which provides software updates and product instruction.
EPICOR NET CLIMBS
Epicor Software saw net income jump to $6.3 million for the first quarter ended March 31, up 79 percent from $3.5 million in last year's corresponding period.
Revenue hit $67.3 million, up 55 percent from $43.4 million a year earlier. One factor in the rise was license revenue, which increased by 60 percent to $16.7 million.
APTUS DEAL CHANGES
Insynq, a publicly held Tacoma, Wash.-based company that markets online accounting and hosting systems, has rescinded a deal to buy Aptus Corp., which owns the Appgen product line.
The deal was called off by mutual agreement. Insynq is negotiating instead to buy some of the Aptus software line, including the Appgen Custom Suite, MyBooks Professional, and QwikQuote suites.
ACCOUNTING REVENUE GAINS SPAN WIDE RANGE
Company Period Ended Revenue Income
March 31 Percent Change Percent Change (Loss)
Blackbaud 1Q 9 percent 173 percent
Epicor 1Q 79 percent 55 percent
MBS 3Q 3 percent (4 percent)
Sage 1H 17 percent 17.7 percent
Results for publicly held accounting companies revenue gains for the March reporting period varied widely.
Sources: Company Documents