MicroStrategy Drops on Forecast, Executive Stock Sales

MicroStrategy, Inc. (Nasdaq: MSTR)tumbled US$3.25 to $13.69 Wednesday morning after the software maker reportedfourth-quarter results and issued a forecast for the coming year that wasreportedly below expectations.

In addition, the company’s chief executive officer and vice chairman said theyintend to sell some of their MicroStrategy shares.

For the fourth quarter ended December 31st, MicroStrategy reported a lossbefore charges of $24.9 million, or 31 cents per share, compared with a lossof $14.0 million, or 18 cents, in the same period a year earlier. Revenuerose to $58.1 million from $46.2 million.

The company said it expects 2001 revenue to rise by about 30 percent. Theforecast depends on “market acceptance of the company’s technology” andassumes a 30 percent growth rate for the overall business intelligencesoftware market, MicroStrategy said.

Reports said analysts had predicted 40 to 50 percent growth for the company.

Chief executive officer Michael Saylor said the company is “well positionedto continue exerting a leadership role in the business intelligence market.”

Also Wednesday, the company said Saylor and vice chairman and chiefoperating officer Sanju Bansal plan to sell some of their MicroStrategyshares. Saylor said he will sell 15,000 Class A common shares each day over the nexttwo years.

“This pre-determined plan will allow me to fund my previously announcedcharitable commitment to creating a cyber-university and to diversifyapproximately 2 percent of the shares held by me per quarter,” Saylor said.”I remain strongly confident in the future prospects of MicroStrategy, asevidenced by the fact that I plan to be holding nearly 40 million shares ayear from now.”

Bansal will sell up to $18 million of Class A common stock during the firstquarter, and up to 5,000 shares per day for the rest of the year.

“MicroStrategy shares constitute the vast majority of my net worth,” Bansalsaid. “I believe it is prudent to diversify my investment portfolio.”

MicroStrategy made headlines last year when it restated financial results aspart of a Securities and Exchange Commission settlement.

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