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PeopleSoft Sees Sluggish Sales

Shares of PeopleSoft sank to a new low for the year Wednesday morning after the company warned that its first-quarter sales will be about the same level as last year.

The Pleasanton, Calif.-based company (PSFT) is expected to post revenue of $275 million to $305 million, PeopleSoft said in a release. The range represents growth of zero to ten percent.

PeopleSoft didn't give a projection for where it sees earnings for the first quarter. However, analysts had expected 12 cents per share, which is down from 13 cents per share it made in the fourth quarter last year.

Over the past half decade, PeopleSoft has increased its earnings about 70 percent annually.

Shares of PeopleSoft dipped 15/16 to 14 5/8, down from a 52-week high of 57 3/8.

Customers are taking longer to decide on whether to buy PeopleSoft's products, the company said. PeopleSoft makes software that automates basic business functions, such as accounting or human resource operations.

Businesses have begun slowing new software purchases as they make sure that the software they already have will work in the Year 2000. Most other sellers of big-ticket software have noticed a similar snag from the so-called "Year 2000 bug."

Another large player - German powerhouse SAP (SAP) - said last week that its first quarter profit would fall "significantly short" of the 1998 figure.

Written By Brenon Daly, CBS MarketWatch