Software AG, Germany’s second-biggest software maker, declined the most in more than a year after forecasting lower profit as fourth-quarter sales fell short of analyst estimates.
Revenue in the three months through December dropped 5.9 percent to 276.7 million euros ($372 million), missing the average analyst estimate of 289.4 million euros in a Bloomberg survey. Earnings per share will fall to 1.70 euros to 1.80 euros this year, the company forecast today, citing increasing investment for future growth. That compares with an average estimate of 2.15 euros.
The shares slumped as much as 16 percent to 29.39 euros today, the biggest drop since Jan. 10 last year, and were down 15 percent as of 11:43 a.m. in Frankfurt, paring the stock’s advance to 21 percent in 12 months. The volume of shares traded today was more than nine times the three-month daily average.
“The fourth-quarter miss is disappointing, but Software AG’s strategy of focusing on higher-margin and faster-growing business is and should continue to pay off,” JPMorgan Chase & Co. analyst Claudia Lane wrote in a note to clients today.