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Mercury Interactive sees revenue down

Posted by iTech - 2005-10-05

Software maker Mercury Interactive Corp. (Nasdaq:MERQE - news) said on Tuesday it expects third-quarter revenue to fall short of its previous target and Wall Street forecasts due to delayed timing of several large transactions as well as continued restructuring in Europe.

The company shares fell nearly 8 percent as it also said a previously-disclosed informal inquiry from the     Securities and Exchange Commission has been converted to a formal probe.

Mercury said it believed the formal investigation was substantially the same as the informal inquiry into the company's accounting of stock option grants.

Mountain View, California-based Mercury said it expects to report quarterly revenue of $198 million to $203 million, compared to its July estimate of $205 million to $215 million.

Analysts on average were expecting the company to post revenue of $211 million for the third quarter, according to Reuters Estimates.

The company also said it was not able to give an earnings per share forecast due to a restatement of financial results that will not be complete before November 25.

Mercury said in August it would restate earnings results from 2002 to 2004 after learning it may have to take additional charges on stock option grants.

The restatement was triggered by an internal investigation after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission made an informal inquiry into Mercury's accounting of stock option grants.

Mercury, whose option expenses are among the largest in the technology industry, has said it would cooperate fully with the SEC's inquiries.

The company's shares fell to $34.02 in after-hours trading from a Nasdaq close of $36.90.

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