Business intelligence (BI) software maker Actuate Corp has achieved its most profitable quarter in just over three years but still struggles to return stronger sales.
The company’s net profits for the second quarter stood at $1.3m, turning around a net loss of $1.9m in the same quarter a year ago. This is the highest level of profitability the company has attained since the first quarter of 2001.
Even though South San Francisco-based Actuate is back in the black, the company still has to convince the market that it has now reached a turning point. Revenue for the quarter only rose a modest 7% to $27.8m. Actuate has endured a relatively flat revenue stream, having failed to record any significant growth for the past several quarters now.
We continue to focus of the strategy we outlined at the start of the year, said Actuate’s CEO Pete Cittadini in a statement last week. Cittadini said that deliberate execution and continuous innovation were the company’s main weapon against a soft IT spending backdrop.
Actuate confirmed that it is searching for a new head of North American sales following the unexpected departure of Bill Robinson. Robinson joined Actuate last September from rival BI firm Business Objects SA.
Cittadini expects to find a replacement before the fourth quarter: [Robinson] was not a good fit…we’re going to be more careful not to make the same mistakes again.
Cittadini also expects more partnership activity over the next quarter, hinting that the company plans to deepen its relationships with partners such as PeopleSoft Inc and SAP AG.
Cittadini also pointed out that its Actuate version 8 platform release is being warmly received by the market. Version 8 includes an enterprise information integration (EII) layer based on technology picked up from the acquisition of Nimble Technology Inc a year ago. The company said the platform’s EII capability secured at least one large transaction last quarter.
In total, Actuate added over 90 customers during the quarter including 45 deals over $100,000. New customers to come on board include Asics Corp, CSC, ING Bank NV, and Seiko Corp.
Contrary to speculation floating around the investor community, a long running lawsuit with another BI rival MicroStrategy Inc, has not impacted the company’s finances Cittadini said.
While admitting the lawsuit has cost a lot of money and is a poor use of our cash, Cittadini said there was no overhang of the suit on the company’s stock price today.
MicroStrategy is appealing a court decision awarded to Actuate last summer that dismissed its claims of misappropriation of trade secrets. Actuate is confident of putting the episode behind it by this September.