Thursday, November 15, 2007

Did BEA's financial results make it more valuable?

One of the tough things about evaluating BEA is that they have been delinquent in their SEC filings until today. For an Oracle investor trying to see if it makes sense to acquire BEAS, the only number that really matters is total revenue. Everything else is pretty much noise, since the purpose of such a deal would be allow much better operating margins. Over the last 12 months, revenues were $1,486,713,000 compared to $1,351,967,000 the twelve months before that. Given Oracle's operating margin (~33%), that would result in $491 million in operating income. That is a significant increase from the $206 million it made in FY 2006, which was the most recent filings investors have had access to. That would indicate Oracle would need to raise its price.

But I don't think that is going to happen. For one, only $541 million of the revenues are from licenses—the rest are from far less profitable services. Also, BEA's operating income was actually negative over the last 12 months. So independent of Oracle or some other buyer, BEAS may be worth less than it was before. Further, the profitable license reviews are decreasing while Oracle's middleware sales are increasing. In any case, Oracle is in an excellent negotiating position.

No comments: