Micros Systems reports $2.5 million profit

Strong second quarter amid industry weakness

February 01, 2002|By Andrew Ratner | Andrew Ratner,SUN STAFF

Micros Systems Inc., a Columbia-based developer of technology for the hospitality industry, yesterday reported net income of $2.5 million for the second quarter of its fiscal year 2002, up from a loss of nearly $1 million posted for the comparable period a year earlier.

Revenue in the three months that ended Dec. 31, 2001, was $90.9 million, 13 percent more than the $80.4 million booked in the year-earlier quarter. That was the second-highest sales for that quarter in the company's 25 years and, executives noted, occurred at a time when the hotel and restaurant industry was struggling after Sept. 11.

Basic and diluted earnings per share in the quarter were 14 cents, matching analysts' estimates, and up from a loss of 6 cents in the year-earlier quarter.

The company anticipates earnings per share in the range of 16 cents to 20 cents in the third quarter and 25 cents to 29 cents in the fourth quarter.

Micros' stock rose $1.33, or 4.5 percent, to close at $30.78 yesterday on the Nasdaq stock market, prior to the earnings release. That was as high as the stock has been since June 2000.

"Considering the business conditions, especially in the U.S., this was outstanding performance," A.L. "Tom" Giannopoulos, the company's chairman and chief executive officer, told investment analysts in a conference call. Hotels aren't as apt to turn to technology solutions to manage turnover when occupancy is at roughly 50 percent, he pointed out.

"We are pleased with the results for the quarter as revenue and profitability exceeded our expectations," he said.

For the six-month period that ended Dec. 31, 2001, Micros' revenue was $174.4 million, an increase of $19.7 million, or 12.7 percent, over the corresponding period last year.

Net income in the six-month period was $3.4 million vs. a loss of $1.9 million in the year-earlier period. The company landed sizable accounts with the large British hotel chain, Six Continents Hotels Inc., and Ruby Tuesday restaurants. Earnings per share, on a diluted basis, were 19 cents, up from a loss of 11 cents per share reported for the comparable six-month span in the prior fiscal year.

"It was an impressive turnaround from last year," said Tom Underwood, an analyst for Legg Mason in Reston, Va. "They've done a good job holding the line on expenses and they have won some major accounts that have given them nice year-over-year gains."

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