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Software AG Shares Fall Most in Year on License Sales

Software AG, Germany’s second-largest software maker, fell the most in a year in Frankfurt trading after it sold fewer software licenses in the first quarter than analysts estimated.

The shares fell as much as 8.66 euros, or 9.1 percent, to 86.56 euros, the biggest intraday decline since April of last year. They traded at 90.07 euros as of 12:26 p.m., giving the company a market value of 2.55 billion euros ($3.4 billion).

Software AG’s license sales, a gauge for future maintenance and consulting revenue, rose 24 percent to 61.2 million euros in the first quarter, the Darmstadt-based company said in an e-mailed statement today.

“License sales came in lower than expected,” said Thomas Becker, an analyst at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt, who predicted they would reach a total of 64 million euros.

Software AG posted first-quarter net income of 28 million euros today, up from 25.6 million euros a year earlier. Revenue increased 51 percent to 250.3 million euros as sales outside Europe, especially in the U.S., picked up, Chief Executive Officer Karl-Heinz Streibich said in an interview from Frankfurt.

The company reiterated that sales will rise by as much as 30 percent and net income will gain 8 percent to 12 percent this year. This will again be a “record year,” Streibich said during a conference call, reiterating that the sales target of 1.1 billion euros will be met this year, instead of 2011.

By 2014, Software AG forecasts earnings before interest and taxes of 412.3 million euros and an EBIT margin of 29.4 percent on sales of 1.4 billion euros, Chief Financial Officer Arnd Zinnhardt said on the conference call.

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