It's been barely two months since financial software maker S1 (NASDAQ:SONE) last issued a "bad" earnings release. Wall Street walloped S1 with an 8% drop in its stock price for predicting a Q3 2005 loss of as much as $0.03; the Street wanted $0.04 in per-share profits.

Yesterday, S1 returned to announce, among other things, that even its previous worst-case scenario wasn't bleak enough. The company is likely to lose $0.04 to $0.05 by the time this quarter's results arrive.

Sound bad? It gets worse. Those are only S1's operational results. The company has also decided to restructure, and the costs of doing so are going to add another $0.05 per share worth of losses to the third quarter's results. Thus, a quarter that the company had originally hoped might actually produce a tiny profit, if all went well, now seems likely to cost S1 as much as a dime per share.

Little surprise, then, that S1's stock dropped 6% yesterday and continues to fall this morning.

There's a silver lining to these clouded earnings, though. By getting this restructuring out of the way now, S1 should be able to significantly reduce its costs of doing business. The company intends to shed 8% of its workforce -- well more than 100 employees -- to save at least $20 million per year in salary costs. That's bad news for pink-slipped employees, alas, but it's good news for investors.

Consider that S1 currently takes in 25% more revenues annually than competitor Digital Insight (NASDAQ:DGIN), and five times the revenues of little Corillian (NASDAQ:CORI). Yet S1's operating margins on those revenues are just a fraction of DI's and Corillian's, netting the company fewer profits than its smaller competitors. By streamlining its workforce and lowering its operating costs, S1 at least stands a chance of narrowing the profit gap.

Further snafu-free Foolishness:

Fool contributor Rich Smith owns shares of Corillian but of no other company mentioned above. The Fool has a disclosure policy.