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Blackbaud posts slight gain

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Blackbaud, a Charleston, S.C.-based provider of software and services for nonprofits, said its net profit in the three months ended Sept. 30 grew to more than $7.7 million from nearly $7.6 million in the same period a year earlier.

Total revenue grew to just over $43.1 million from just over $36.4 million a year earlier, while diluted earnings per share grew to 17 cents from 16 cents.

Blackbaud also said CEO Robert S. Sywolski and its board had launched a search and begun meeting with candidates to succeed Sywolski “as soon as possible and hopefully well before” his contract expires in March 2006.

Blackbaud, which raised $64.8 million in an initial public offering of stock in July 2004, also declared a fourth-quarter dividend of 5 cents a share, payable on Nov. 30 to shareholders of record on Nov. 15.

Third-quarter revenue included nearly $7.3 million in license fees, up from more than $6.2 million a year earlier; nearly $14.5 million for services, up from more than $12.1 million; and just over $20 million for maintenance and subscriptions, up from $17.1 million.

Operating expenses for the third quarter grew to nearly $19.9 million from nearly $14.5 million in the same period a year earlier.

That included nearly $8.6 million for sales and marketing, up from nearly $6.9 million; $5.3 million for research and development, up from $4.5 million; and $4.4 million for general and administrative, up from $3.4 million.

The company also reported it had cash and cash equivalents of $20.7 million on Sept. 30, down from $50.4 million at the end of the previous quarter.

The company previously said it had used $43.3 million of its cash to repurchase shares of its common stock in a self-tender offer, and then used $2.3 million more to repurchase more shares in the market.

Blackbaud stock closed Oct. 31 at $14.40, a share, up 15 cents.

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