Stock-market sentiment worsened during the second
quarter. The high oil price and rising US interest
rates had a negative impact on the global economy.
Coupled with a troubled labor market in Germany,
this had a negative impact on shares. In view of
this poor climate, the development of Software AG
stock is all the more impressive.
Having already significantly exceeded market expectations
in both the fourth quarter of 2003 and
the first three months of 2004, Software AG's Q2
2004 figures again outperformed projections. Two
factors in particular led to a higher valuation for the
Company, and a higher share price: The healthy
positive development of license sales for products from
our Enterprise Transaction Systems business
line, and a further reduction in costs. The improved
licensing situation in the Enterprise Transaction Systems
business line helped to persuade investors
and analysts that our decision to focus the Company
on two business lines would succeed. This, in conjunction
with successful moves to reduce costs, helped
us to further improve profitability.
In the light of our six-month figures, we have again
raised our full-year forecast for earnings per share
(EPS). We now expect EPS to be between € 2.75
and € 2.85. This includes approximately € 0.88
attributable to the sale of shareholdings.
High resonance among investors
During the second quarter, we stepped up efforts
to communicate our new strategic orientation.
Software AG management met investors for group
and one-on-one discussions on nine roadshows.
We also presented our first-half results at an analyst
and investor conference in London. This event was
Webcast live, and a recording can be viewed
online. JP Morgan is the latest major investment
bank to provide coverage of Software AG shares.
This is indicative of our higher profile, and will increase
awareness of the Company among both
private and institutional investors.
Shareholder's meeting passes all motions with
The annual shareholders' meeting took place on
April 30, 2004. CEO Karl-Heinz Streibich and CFO
Arnd Zinnhardt introduced the Company's strategy
and presented figures for full-year 2003 and firstquarter
2004. All agenda motions were adopted
with overwhelming majorities. Dr. Andreas Bereczky
was elected to the Supervisory Board to replace
Dr. Peter Lex, whose mandate ended. The meeting
also approved revised contingent capital and renewed
the Executive Board’s share buyback authorization.
The next annual shareholders' meeting will
take place on May 13, 2005.