SkillSoft beats expectations for third quarter

Nashua-based SkillSoft beat analysts’ expectations yesterday by reporting revenue of $53.9 million for the third quarter ending Oct. 31 — a 3 percent increase over the $52.5 million reported for the same quarter last year.

The developer of computer-based training applications said it had net income for the third quarter fiscal 2006 of $5.7 million, a 39 percent increase from the $4.1 million reported in the third quarter of fiscal 2005, or 5 cents per basic and diluted shares.

Wall Street had forecast a profit of 3 cents per share, the average estimate of three analysts, on sales of $52.2 million.

The increased income occurred despite the $700,000 in expenses associated with restructuring activities and an ongoing Securities and Exchange Commission investigation related to SkillSoft subsidiary SmartForce, which required the restatement of historical financial statements.

The company is forecasting limited growth for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2006, which ends Jan. 31, 2006. It said it expecting revenues to range between $52.2 and $54 million, with net income between $3 million and $5 million, or 3 cents to 6 cents per basic and diluted share.

The conservative forecast is primarily due to deferred revenues for the quarter related to the sale of its SmartCertify retail certification division. — NHBR STAFF

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