* SAP may need longer to hit margin target - magazine
* Will not give 2009 sales outlook this month - magazine
* Apotheker to run company alone from Jan. 28 - magazine
* SAP declines comment
(Adds analyst comments, background)
FRANKFURT, Jan 20 (Reuters) - Shares in SAP SAPG.DE fell more than 5 percent on Tuesday after Capital magazine reported the software maker will need more time to hit its margin targets and will not give a 2009 sales outlook this month.
SAP declined to comment on the report, which also said co-Chief Executive Leo Apotheker would take sole responsibility for running the company as of Jan. 28.
“We are not fully surprised that SAP will not provide a detailed sales guidance for the whole full year (2009), as co-CEO (Henning) Kagermann indicated already the possibility of an alternative guidance model due to the financial crisis,” DZ Bank’s Oliver Finger wrote in a note.
“In our opinion this could mean that the company may give a quarterly guidance or a guidance solely for the margin,” he added.
The report said SAP would refrain from giving a concrete 2009 sales target at its annual results news conference on Jan. 28 and that it would delay the schedule for boosting its operating margin to 35 percent from 28 percent now.
Kagermann had previously said the company should be able to reach an operating margin of 35 percent at some point, but had not given a concrete date.
The report quoted Apotheker as saying the target would be valid again “as soon as the economic crisis is over”.
“I am rather surprised that the news has such an impact on SAP’s share price,” said BHF Bank analyst Jochen Klusmann.
“Not giving out a guidance for 2009 is legitimate in the current environment. In addition, SAP never gave a specific time frame when it is planning to reach its 35 percent margin target,” he added.
The report in Capital also quoted Apotheker as saying SAP had to reinvent itself, be nimble, eliminate red tape and become more international.
SAP shares fell as much as 5.6 percent and were still down 3.6 percent at 25.65 euros by 1343 GMT, the third-biggest decliner among German blue chips .GDAXI. (Reporting by Alexander Hueber, Michael Shields and Christoph Steitz; editing by Elaine Hardcastle)