STOCKWATCH: KM industry looking up

STOCKWATCH: KM industry looking up

By Paul Montgomery

Vendors in the knowledge management industry have posted some promising financial results, with Hummingbird and Documentum in particular spreading good news.

Hummingbird said it finished its fiscal year, which ended in September, on a "strong note despite the weak economy", and would start a share repurchase plan.

"We expect to exceed the current Street revenue and earnings estimates for the fiscal year. All of the company's product lines have performed above expectations," said Fred Sorkin, chairman and CEO of Hummingbird.

Documentum said it would meet its fiscal forecast for the third quarter of 2002 on larger revenue of between US$55 million and US$56 million. The company also announced last week that it would acquire collaboration software developer eRoom for 7.7 million of its shares plus US$12.6 million in cash, with a further 1.7 million shares to cover options. Documentum's stock closed at US$10.39 per share overnight, pegging the price for the deal at between US$92.6 million and US$110.2 million. Despite the good news, and the fact that the stock is near 52-week lows, Deutsche Securities downgraded Documentum from Buy to Hold.

The two companies had been working to integrate their products previously, with eRoom contributing its notion of the "digital workplace" to the Documentum Collaboration Edition.

Stellent also announced last week that it would meet analyst estimates for the most recent quarter, although it would not claw its way back to profit just yet. Stellent's stock rose 15 per cent on the day of the news to US$3.70, but have since deflated back to US$3.31.

The news wasn't so good for Interwoven, which had to add one-time charges and US$80 million write-downs of goodwill into its figures, resulting in a loss worse than expected. Interwoven's stock was downgraded by Fulcrum, Goldman Sachs, JMP Securities and UBS Warburg on the news, and dropped from US$1.93 to US$1.59 on the day of the announcement, with further falls seeing the stock close at US$1.40 overnight.

FileNET also felt some dispproval from Wall Street, as analyst firm Robert W. Baird downgraded its stock from Outperform to Neutral after the company warned it would miss revenue estimates. FileNET said it would record revenue of between US$82 million and US$83 million, falling short of consensus estimates by at least three million US dollars. However, the company maintained its target of a slight profit.

"We continue to face a challenging global business environment with a handful of late quarter customer decisions being delayed or deferred. However, we remain confident about our long-term growth opportunities in the enterprise content management market and intend to continue to invest in these opportunities," said FileNET's chairman and CEO, Lee Roberts.

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