April 2, 2009 / 6:15 PM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 2-Manhattan Associates slashes Q1 view, shares tank

* Q1 adj EPS view $0.05-$0.07

* Sees Q1 licensing rev $4 mln-$5 mln

* Shares fall nearly 20 pct (Updates share movement; adds analyst comments, background, byline)

By Mansi Dutta

BANGALORE, April 2 (Reuters) - Manhattan Associates Inc (MANH.O), which develops supply chain management software, slashed its first-quarter earnings outlook as customers cut back on IT spending amid the global credit crunch.

Shares of the company fell nearly 20 percent to touch a low of $14.00 on Nasdaq.

Mid-sized licensing deals, which are the company’s bread-and-butter business, continued their decline this quarter as well, analyst Terry Tillman of Raymond James said.

“I think you are going to see more downside pre-announcements in the application space... Manhattan is just going to be the first,” analyst Mark Schappel at The Benchmark Co said.

Retail companies are not embarking upon major aggressive new applications, while manufacturers and various other industry segments too are cutting back on IT spending, he added.

Manhattan, which competes with JDA Software JDAS.O, said it expects first-quarter net results to be between breakeven and 2 cents a share, compared with its prior forecast of 15 cents to 25 cents a share.

Excluding items, it expects to earn 5 cents to 7 cents a share, compared with its previous estimate of 20 cents to 30 cents a share.

Manhattan’s software being expensive is also a reason for the setback, Raymond James’ Tillman said.

For a company trying to cut costs, paying upfront for software and waiting for months to have it installed is a risky proposition, he added.

Manhattan’s customers include Pfizer Inc (PFE.N), Walgreen Co WAG.N and Whirlpool Corp (WHR.N).

Shares of the Atlanta, Georgia-based company were trading down nearly 10 percent at $15.72 Thursday afternoon. They have shed about a quarter of their value in the past year.

For alerts, double click [ID:nWNAB0104] (Reporting by Mansi Dutta; Editing by Anil D’Silva and Aradhana Aravindan)

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