I agree regarding the Bendata/ASTEA thing, but I think they can get through it. It wasn't a "bet the company" acquisition.|
I do agree that CLFY and ATEA compete. CLFY is a better company and probably a better product, but it is very, very hard to implement, like SAP. Again, I wouldn't buy ATEA at 20, but it's too cheap to pass up at 8.
Regarding VNTV: current analyst estimates are for earnings of $.65 for 1996. $.36 is the estimate for the quarter ending in September. Actually, the numbers don't make sense, since that will give them a total of about $.65 for just the first three quarters. But, let's say the results are $1.00. $2.00 per share would make the stock go wild - to 100. A 50 P/E is completely in line with other software stocks of this size/maturity/type of business. VNTV is currently supporting a P/E of around 75. So, you figure it out. Just remember, your friend steve told you its still a very reasonable buy at today's price of 47.
I seriously doubt VNTV discounted deals to bring them into the quarter. Since they exceeded their number by so much, there was no motivation. This sounds like total sour grapes. More likely, they discounted them to close the deals, regardless of timing. But, you have to know, that this discounting at the end of a quarter is a well known game. I've done it many times myself. You jack up the prices, and then give a big discount. It's totally factored into the quarterly battle plan.
You may believe what you select to believe. There's probably no worse source of info than the losing sales person. Some day we could meet over lunch, and I could give you much insight (15 years worth of software sales management in small and medium companies) as to the psychology of a losing software salesperson. There are many factors that are in place: ego, fear, embarrassment, anger and poverty. Losing salespeople have to justify to themselves, co-workers, spouses, friends, etc. why they lost, because they can not accept that they screwed up, or that they work for a company with an inferior product. There's an entire belief system at work. I have worked with salespeople where the reason for the loss is unbelieveably obvious (i.e. they screwed up, didn't get positioned, missed a customer requirement, were too arrogant, or any of a number of other items), yet they refuse to accept that they themselves were a critical factor.
Hey - that's unique to salespeople, either. It's just easier to track and measure.