Dassault Systemes Slumps After Missing Sales Target: Paris Mover

Dassault Systemes SA, the software developer whose clients include Benetton Group SpA, fell the most in almost five years after reporting third-quarter sales that fell short of the company’s forecast.

The stock dropped as much as 10 percent in Paris, the biggest intraday drop since January 2009, and traded 6.5 percent lower at 90.10 euros as of 9:54 a.m. in Paris.

Revenue of 496 million euros ($673 million) missed a target of 520 million euros as customers took longer to make decisions on spending, the company, based in the Paris suburb of Velizy Villacoublay, said today, citing preliminary figures. Dassault Systemes, which develops 3-D software for industrial clients, said it may also reduce its projections for the current quarter on Oct. 24.

“While Dassault Systemes resisted pretty well during the crisis, it seems to have been affected on a delayed basis compared to rivals and large software powerhouses,” Gregory Ramirez, an analyst at Bryan Garnier & Co., wrote in a note.

The company, which competes with SAP AG and Oracle Corp., said third-quarter earnings per share declined 1 percent to 88 cents, and the quarterly operating margin was 31.6 percent which was “slightly better than expected.”

Dassault Systemes, whose biggest shareholder is French businessman Serge Dassault’s family-run holding Dassault Group, said it may reduce its fourth-quarter revenue target by 20 million euros to as low as 565 million euros to reflect shifts to software renting business models, transaction delays as well as currency weakness in emerging economies.

The fourth-quarter non-International Financial Reporting Standards EPS target may be 97 cents, and the non-IFRS operating margin will be about 34 percent, the company said.

Shares of Dassault Systemes have gained 14 percent between the end of last year and Oct. 11. The company has a market value of 11.4 billion euros.

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