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SAP fourth-quarter revenue misses expectationsUS-SAP-RESULTS:SAP fourth-quarter revenue misses expectations
FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Germany's SAP reported fourth-quarter revenue on Tuesday that missed expectations as the world's biggest business software maker failed to keep up with Oracle, its main competitor.
SAP said group revenue for the three months through December rose 12 percent to 5.06 billion euros ($6.8 billion), below analyst consensus of 5.17 billion, according to Reuters data.
Operating profit rose more slowly than revenues, gaining 10 percent to 1.96 billion euros, resulting in SAP's operating margin narrowing by 0.8 percentage points to 38.8 percent.
SAP shares slid on the news and were down 4.5 percent at the bottom of a 2.2 percent weaker sector index by 1340 GMT.
"Especially after their main competitor Oracle managed to beat estimates last month, many had hoped that SAP would follow suit," said Markus Huber at ETX Capital.
"Even by missing estimates by a very small margin, and despite having had an overall excellent 2012, investors are venting their disappointment by dumping the stock heavily," he added.
Oracle Corp, the world's No. 3 software maker, last month forecast strong sales for 2013 after posting a 17 percent jump in quarterly software revenue.
SAP is due to publish full financial results and a full-year outlook on January 23.
"Guidance could be slightly below current consensus and expectations may be revised lower," Barclays analyst Gerardus Vos said in a note.
($1 = 0.7482 euros)
(Reporting by Maria Sheahan)
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