Lawson Doubles Profit Despite Drop In Revenue

Lawson Software, seller of ERP and human capital acquisition and management software, reported a stellar financial year, more than doubling its 4th quarter net income from 2008 and ending the fiscal year with an $18.9 million net income, about 38 percent over 2008. Fourth quarter profit was $9.8 million.

Revenue for the quarter, which ended May 31, was $186.2 million. Last year, revenue for the same quarter was $233 million. For the year, Lawson brought in $757.3 million versus $851.9 million in 2008. Lawson, a multinational, said that revenues were negatively impacted by overseas currency fluctuations, but helped improve earnings per share (of 11 cents) by about a penny.

Adjustments for one time expenses and restructuring costs resulted in a fiscal 2009 profit of $58.7 million, or 35 cents per share, in line with analysts’ expectations.

The St. Paul, Minnesota, firm reported its fiscal 2009 financials after the market closed Thursday.

For the year, operating expenses were down $54.7 million over the previous year, not including a $20 million restructuring charge.

The company has made deep cuts in expenses. Last fall it cut 200 jobs and in May it announced an additional 150 layoffs to its 3,400 workers saving some $60-$70 million cumulatively in payroll annually. Most of the layoffs came in its European workforce.

In its financial report, Lawson did not provide full year estimates for the 2010 fiscal year that began June 1. It did estimate that its first quarter earnings would be in the range of 1 to 3 cents per share on revenue of $160 million to $165 million. The per share estimate after excluding one-time expenses is 5 cents. Analysts had been anticipating earnings in the range of 8 cents per share on revenue of $165.8 million.

Lawson’s stock was trading down 11 cents to $5.29 a share at midday, New York.

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