Micros Systems 2Q profit rose 37.1%

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Micros Systems Inc., the Columbia-based provider of computer services and equipment for restaurants, retailers and hotels, yesterday reported strong results for its fiscal second quarter that beat Wall Street estimates.

Company executives also boosted earnings guidance for the current quarter, which ends in March, as well as for the year.

"The financial results for the second quarter were very strong," Tom Giannopoulos, the company's chairman and chief executive, said in a conference call with analysts and journalists late yesterday. As a result, Micros' leaders "remain cautiously optimistic about the future."

Micros reported net income of $11.8 million for the fiscal second quarter that ended Dec. 31, an increase of 37.1 percent from the net income of $8.6 million recorded for the corresponding quarter a year ago.

Net income per share was 59 cents on a fully diluted basis, a jump of more than 31 percent from the year-ago earnings-per-share of 45 cents, the company said. Analysts had been expecting earnings of 53 cents per share, according to a survey conducted by Thomson Financial's Nelson Information unit.

Revenue for this year's fiscal second quarter was $141.9 million, an increase of $24.7 million, or 21 percent, from the $117.3 million in revenue that Micros recorded for the fiscal second quarter a year ago.

Micros sells so-called "point-of-sales" hardware-and-software systems that are customized for companies to process credit and debit card payments. Executives said they are seeing solid growth in all of the markets the company serves.

Micros' results were released after the close of trading yesterday: Micros shares finished the day up $2.59, or 3.9 percent, to close at $68.59.

The shares are up more than 45 percent in the past 12 months. However, Micros' stock is down 12.1 percent this year, having achieved its 52-week high of $78.41 on Dec. 31.

Although he hedged his message with words of caution, Giannopoulos said he expects the company's performance to continue, boosting Micros' guidance for its fiscal third quarter and full year.

For the fiscal third quarter that ends March 31, Micros projected revenue of $135 million to $140 million, and net income of $10 million to $11 million.

For the full year, which ends June 30, Micros is projecting revenue of $555 million to $563 million, up from a projection in October of $535 million to $540 million - which, in turn, represented an increase from the original guidance of $520 million to $530 million, the company said yesterday.

For fiscal 2005, Micros is projecting net income of $45 million to $48 million, up from the guidance of $38 million to $41 million at the start of the year.

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