After a string of disappointing quarters, Siebel announced that it exceeded sales forecasts in its fourth quarter, which is likely to be its last as an independent company.Siebel Thursday reported preliminary results for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2005\u00a0showing total revenue of $469 million, up 20% from last year's fourth-quarter. Influenced by Siebel's earlier forecast of fourth-quarter revenue in the range of $340 million to $360 million, analysts polled by Thomson First Call had a consensus revenue forecast of $364.9 million.Siebel's sales of new software licenses also picked up dramatically from last year: Siebel put its license revenue for the quarter at $214 million, up 33% from last year's fourth quarter. License sales are a key measure for software companies, since they directly affect the future revenue the company will be able to expect from lucrative maintenance and support contracts.Siebel did not forecast its per-share earnings, but it estimated that its fourth-quarter operating income will be between $107 million and $111 million, up at least 65% from last year."This quarter represents our best revenue, profit and cash generation performance since the first quarter of 2002," Siebel CEO George Shaheen said in a written statement.Siebel, a CRM software maker with headquarters in San Mateo, Calif., is in the process of closing an acquisition by rival Oracle, which will pay $5.85 billion for Siebel. Oracle has said it expects the deal to close this month.Siebel plans to release its full fourth-quarter financial report on Jan. 23.