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Manugistics Fires Its President

During its most recent quarter, ended in May, Manugistics's sales fell 21 percent, to $51.6 million, compared with $65.6 million during the same period last year. The company lost $7.7 million, compared with a $57.5 million loss in the year-ago quarter.

Shares of Manugistics, which traded above $9 in January, have been falling steadily. Its shares closed yesterday at $2.31, down 1 cent.

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Analysts said yesterday that Manugistics is spending too much of its cash and cash equivalents, which were down 16 percent, to $116.7 million, in the most recent quarter, compared with $138.9 million three months earlier.

"Something wasn't working," and hiring Cowan signaled change at the top ranks, said Patrick Walravens, managing director and analyst with JMP Securities LLC in San Francisco. When Coote did not speak at the annual shareholders meeting earlier this month, Walravens wrote in a research note that it was likely Coote would leave the company, or already had left.

Manugistics has been suffering for several years from a general decline in software spending by businesses, but also from stiffer competition from companies such as SAP, said David Hilal, an analyst with Friedman, Billings, Ramsey Group Inc.

Corporations are looking for one-stop shops such as SAP, Coote's former employer, which offer a wider variety of software, handling functions including finance, human resources and customer relations, Hilal said. Manugistics handles a single niche.

The analyst predicted Manugistics will have to do more cost-cutting, although the chief executive has not yet said so. The company employed 868 people as of May 31.

Staff writer Carrie Johnson contributed to this report.

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