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BEA avoids NASDAQ drop - again

So much for SOA

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BEA Systems continues to dice with fate, having evaded yet another attempt by US regulators to deprive the company of its NASDAQ listing.

Regulators have granted the middleware company the latest in a series of stays of execution, pending a further review. BEA was due to be delisted on 23 August.

The company has not filed a full income statement for more than a year as it attempts to assess the impact of misallocation of company stock on nearly 10 years' worth of results.

BEA said in February it expected to incur between $340m and $390m in charges following its own internal investigation into stock awards, but said it would be unable to post any full results until a final total has been determined.

BEA is likely to come up again for delisting before, and until, it posts full results. BEA last week gave its latest snapshot on performance. Revenue from sales of software fell nine per cent in the second quarter, to $123.1m, leaving it to services to drive growth. Services increased 19 per cent to $241m. Overall, BEA reported a seven per cent increase in revenue to $346.6m.

Again, the majority of business was associated with WebLogic and Tuxedo middleware, with the SOA AquaLogic products static on a quarter of revenue.

Previous quarters saw BEA's sales people generally run around and bump into each other, grabbing for the same products - something euphemistically referred to as an "execution" problem in the trade.

Wall St was fairly unimpressed with BEA's latest results. UBS analyst Heather Bellini called on BEA management to "fix execution challenges or allow someone to come in and improve shareholder value". Translation: shape up or sell out.

Wall St - and even some inside BEA - must be hoping Hewlett-Packard will step in at some point, given the company's recent renewed focus on software, and the companies' close middleware relationship. ®

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