SAP shares soar on strong fourth-quarter revenues

German software maker's net profit still uncertain due to $1.3 billion Oracle judgment

Shares of Germany-based SAP AG (NYSE: SAP) soared Thursday after the company released preliminary fourth-quarter results showing a 27 percent increase in revenue from software and software-related services. (Also see: Myspace as cautionary tale)

SAP closed at 54.58, a gain of 3.40, or 6.64 percent. Earlier in the day shares reached 54.69, the stock's highest price since July 24, 2008, when it hit 54.73. The results were the first from the company to include sales attributed to enterprise software vendor Sybase, which SAP purchased last summer for $5.8 billion. But SAP couldn't provide profit figures because it's still factoring in the recent $1.3 billion (plus interest) judgment imposed by a California jury over the German business software maker's theft of intellectual property from Oracle. SAP said it would have more financial details from Q4, as well as a forecast for 2011, on Jan. 26. SAP's total revenue for the fourth quarter was 4.04 billion euros ($5.39 billion), up 27 percent from 3.19 billion euros in the year-ago quarter. Analysts expected total sales of 3.78 euros.

Chris Nerney writes about the business side of technology market strategies and trends, legal issues, leadership changes, mergers, venture capital, IPOs and technology stocks. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisNerney.

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