UPDATE 1-Software AG misses forecasts on investments, unit sale

Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:24am EST

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* Q4 revenue 276.7 mln euros vs 288 mln in Reuters poll

* EBIT 75.4 mln vs 77.3 mln expected

* Shares indicated to open 6.5 percent lower (Adds detail, background)

FRANKFURT, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Software AG's fourth-quarter revenue and operating profit missed expectations, burdened by costs related to the sale of a unit and higher investments.

Germany' second-largest software firm after SAP AG reported earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of 75.4 million euros ($101.5 million), down 3 percent from the previous year, and revenue 6 percent lower at 276.7 million.

The company was expected to report revenue of 288 million euros and operating profit of 77.3 million, according to the average of 11 estimates in a Reuters poll.

Software AG has sold its North American SAP-related service activities as part of a transformation to helping companies managing big chunks of data, away from traditional lower-margin software products.

The company, which did not give a profit outlook for 2013, said on Tuesday it expects more than 1 billion euros in sales from such products by 2018, almost double the 547 million it reached in 2012.

"We are somewhat disappointed that Software AG has provided no EBIT guidance for 2013," said DZ Bank analyst Oliver Finger.

Software AG is operating in a market where companies are widely expected to hold back on IT purchases, in part because of worries about the global economy.

Software AG shares were indicated to open 6.5 percent lower, with the German blue chip index seen opening slightly higher. ($1 = 0.7429 euros) (Reporting by Harro ten Wolde; Editing by Victoria Bryan and David Holmes)

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