ePlus Climbs on Q4 Forecast

ePlus (Nasdaq: PLUS) rose US$2.44 to$8.68 in morning trading Monday after the company, which provides Web-basedonline procurement services, said it expects to beat analyst estimates forthe fourth quarter ended March 31st.

ePlus, based in Herndon, Virginia, said it expects to earn 20 cents pershare for the quarter, ahead of the 17 cents per share predicted by analysts, although still below the 25 cents posted in the year-earlier quarter.

“Our stronger-than-expected financial performance is the result of powerfulsynergies between our legacy businesses and our e-commerce services,” ePlus chairman, president and chief executive officer Phillip G. Norton said.

According to Norton, the company has “a powerful model for profitability,” even in the current economy.

The company’s ePlusSuite asset procurement and management system “continuesto be in high demand,” Norton said. Additionally, the company’s recent introduction ofsubscription-based pricing is also proving an “alternative to licensefees or transaction fees for the middle-market and larger enterprises,” hesaid.

In February, ePlus reported earnings of 18 cents per share for its fiscalthird quarter, topping expectations by 2 cents. The company credited stronge-commerce business and lower-than-expected spending on technology andmarketing.

An expected slowdown in business resulting from a weak economywas not as severe as previously thought, ePlus said at the time.

Also in February, ePlus added a chief strategy officer, hiring RajAnanthanpillai to spearhead its e-commerce and business operationstechnology and marketing initiatives.

Company shares, however, are trading near a 52-week low of $6.17, well belowtheir year’s high of $31.88.

ePlus plans to report third-quarter results in June.

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