PeopleSoft begged for earnings help

Please! Make us look good!

PeopleSoft asked its key customers to pony up early for large software buys in a bid to make its earnings look stronger than they might have been.

PeopleSoft's CFO Kevin Parker this week gave the gory details on the company's aggressive moves to offset Oracle's takeover bid during testimony in front of a Delaware court. Most telling, the CFO stated the company "had asked certain customers to accelerate their deals," according to a report from CNET. PeopleSoft hoped to make its second quarter '03 results come in higher than they would have without this prompting.

PeopleSoft, in court, also defended a 2004 earnings per share estimate of $0.94 even though earlier internal documents showed the company expected earnings per share of $0.69. The software maker considered the higher figure an "honest overestimate" that was a result of possible cost savings that could be achieved when PeopleSoft acquired J.D. Edwards, CNET reported.

Oracle has pulled PeopleSoft into court, hoping to cancel out the measures PeopleSoft has taken to block hostile takeovers.

PeopleSoft held a meeting with HP's CEO Carly Fiorina that resulted in a contract being signed in the second quarter and forged a deal with IBM that quarter that saw IBM receive unusually favorable financing. ®

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