Macromedia beats 3Q estimates, merges with Allaire

Let's get togetherMacromedia announced Tuesday a $360m merger with Allaire, expanding the company's reach from Web authoring software to back-end application development software.

Macromedia also reported pro forma third quarter earnings that beat analyst expectations by 2 cents a share.

The merger with Allaire will allow San Francisco-based Macromedia to expand its audience from Web authors using its products, such as Flash and Dreamweaver, to Web developers who build sites using server software such as Allaire's ColdFusion and Jrun.

In a conference call with analysts and investors, Macromedia Chief Executive, Rob Burgess, said the merger will make Macromedia a one-stop shop for Web professionals.

"In short, we think we've got the product lineup here that will fulfill that dream of Web professionals: to author both the look of a Web site and the application behind it," Burgess said.

Analysts were bullish on the long-term possibilities of the merger.

"Allaire provides functionality wherein you can embed code within your page, whereas Macromedia focuses toward building the site graphically," said Sasa Zorozic, an analyst with Robertson Stephens. "The two products combined lets you do both things at the same time. It makes sense."

Macromedia and Allaire have worked as partners in the past. Burgess said the merger will allow the companies to create a stronger, combined product that will encompass the entire Web development market.

Under the terms of the agreement, Macromedia will exchange 0.2 shares of its stock and $3 in cash for each Allaire share.

In its third quarter earnings report Tuesday, Macromedia said it earned $16.2m, or 29 cents per share, a 97 percent increase from its profit of $8.2m, or 15 cents per share, in the year-earlier period. Analysts, polled by First Call, expected the company to earn 25 cents per share.

Revenue for the third quarter, which ended December 31, 1999, was $103.3m, a 61 percent increase from $64.3m, during the same period last year.

"I'm delighted about the ability of the company to deliver strong earnings in uncertain times," Burgess said.

Although the company had a strong quarter and shipped new versions of Dreamweaver 4, Dreamweaver UltraDev 4 and Fireworks 4, management offered conservative future estimates because of "soft economic conditions." The company predicted flat revenue and pro forma earnings for its software business for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2001.

Macromedia said it will no longer include the financial results of with its own earnings after Shockwave's merger with AtomFilms.

Beginning 2002, Macromedia will report its earnings in conjunction with Allaire. Revenues in fiscal year 2002 are expected to be approximately $630m, or approximately 60 percent growth over expected fiscal year 2001 revenue for Macromedia's software business. Pro forma combined earnings for fiscal year 2002 are expected to be approximately $1.70 per share.

See techTrader for the latest technology investment news, plus quotes and research.

Have your say instantly, and see what others have said. Click on the TalkBack button and go to the ZDNet News forum.

Let the editors know what you think in the Mailroom. And read what others have said.