SAP shares slide after gloomy Q3 preliminary statement

Warnings from SAP that its business took a hit in the third quarter sent the vendors shares plummeting and indicated that most of the confidence that had been washing around the high-end of the software market has vanished.

Warnings from SAP that its business took a hit in the third quarter sent the vendors shares plummeting and indicated that most of the confidence that had been washing around the high-end of the software market has vanished.

The Business Intelligence specialist saw shares slide 16% yesterday after it lowered its estimates based on sales figures.

In a statement accompanying its Q3 preliminary figures its CEO Henning Kagermann was clear about the impact of the downturn on its business.

"The market developments of the past several weeks have been dramatic and worrying to many businesses. These concerns triggered a very sudden and unexpected drop in business activity at the end of the quarter," he said.

He added that it had remained confident throughout most of the quarter but the meltdown in the banking world in the last week had led to a more grim outlook.

"Unfortunately, SAP was not immune from the economic and financial crisis that has enveloped the markets in the second half of September, causing us to report numbers below our expectations."

Third quarter 2008 U.S. GAAP software revenues are expected to be between €740 and €750 million which would be an increase of 5% compared to the same period last year.

Kagermann said that despite the problems it still expected to grow and take market share.

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