Art Technology Rises on Q1 Results, Cost Cuts

Art Technology Group (Nasdaq: ARTG) rose 91 U.S. cents to $8.80 in morning trading Friday, after reporting first-quarterresults that topped its previously slashed expectations and announcing acost-cutting plan.

The company also said that its chief financial officer, Ann Brady, resigned to spend more time withher family and will leave the company as soon as a replacement is found.

The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based e-commerce software maker said that revenue for the first quarter ended March 31st rose to $42.8 million from $21.6million in the same period last year, helped by a 228 percent jump inservices revenue.

As expected, the net loss widened to $12.9 million, or 19cents per share, from $2.8 million, or a penny per share.

“The selling environment changed dramatically in the final weeks of thefirst quarter, as customers delayed orders or put (information technology)budgets on hold,” said chief executive officer Jeet Singh.

The good news, Singh said, is that big customers continued to buy the company’s products. BostonScientific, Fila and Nieman Marcus were among big “wins” in the quarter, hesaid.

ATG, which earlier this month announced plans to cut 12 percent of itsworkforce, said that it will take further cost-cutting steps, including closingsome offices and temporarily reducing salaries. The moves will result in $30million to $40 million of charges to second-quarter earnings, though theyare designed to save $32 million to $35 million a year.

Analysts at US Bancorp Piper Jaffray and Adams Harkness reportedly raisedtheir ratings on ATG shares following the news.

ATG said that it expects to return to profitability in the fourth quarter of thisyear. The second quarter will see “flat to modest top-line growth andmoderate bottom-line improvement,” said Brady.

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