Bechtle Falls as Personnel Costs Reduce Profit: Frankfurt Mover

Bechtle AG (BC8), the German computer and software retailer that went public in 2000, fell the most in almost three months after second-quarter earnings missed analyst estimates because of higher human-resources costs.

Bechtle lost as much as 4.3 percent to 30.06 euros, the biggest intraday drop since May 18, and was trading down 3 percent at 3:37 p.m. in Frankfurt. Bechtle was the third biggest decliner on the German HDAX Index (HDAX) today.

Earnings before interest and tax fell 21 percent from a year earlier to 15.4 million euros ($18.9 million), and was less than the average estimate of 18.2 million euros. Pretax profit dropped 24 percent to 15.1 million euros, the Neckarsulm-based company said today in a statement.

Higher personnel expenses and an increase in depreciation and amortization costs stemming from acquisitions were responsible for earnings decline, the company said. Bechtle stuck to a 2012 forecast of revenue rising faster than the market’s growth, while a goal of matching or exceeding 2011 earnings now “appears to be rather ambitious.”

“Bechtle’s management has become more cautious,” Tim Wunderlich, a Frankfurt-based analyst at Hauck & Aufhaeuser Privatbankiers KGaA, said in a phone interview today. “The market will lower its consensus for 2012 by up to 10 percent.”

The second quarter also presented difficult circumstances in some European countries and a “deteriorated domestic economy,” Bechtle said. The S&P Europe 350 Software & Services Industry Group Index (SESFTW) declined 7.9 percent in the period.

To contact the reporter on this story: Myriam Wecker in Frankfurt at mwecker2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Angela Cullen at acullen8@bloomberg.net

Bloomberg reserves the right to remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.